What does “Per Stirpes” Mean in a Will?

One of the questions we get from time to time is this: The Will says that assets are left “per stirpes.” What does that mean?

The latin phrase “per stirpes” could be translated as by the roots or by the stocks. These days, we generally say that it means ” by representation” and it specifies, when properly used, how assets may be distributed in the event that an intended beneficiary has predeceased the maker of the Will. The easiest way to explain this is to draw it out. In the video, attorney Joel Beck discusses a simple “per stirpes” distribution, and draws out a common example of how that might work. Watch the short video, and we think you’ll find that it is not as complicated as it sounds.

If you have estate planning questions, or need to get around to doing your own estate planning here in Georgia, we invite you to contact us. You’ll find a wealth of information on our website, but we also have a free Georgia estate planning information kit, and we’ll send it to you for free, no strings attached, if you call and ask for it.