per stirpes

adverb or adjective
per stir·​pes | \ pər-ˈstər-pēz How to pronounce per stirpes (audio) , per-ˈstir-pās \

Definition of per stirpes

: in equal shares to each member of a specified class with the share of a deceased member divided proportionately among his or her beneficiaries (such as children) the estate was divided per stirpes

Examples of per stirpes in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The power of appointment provides that, if Mom does not exercise the power, then upon Mom's death, Dad’s descendants are entitled to the remainder interest, per stirpes. Alan Gassman, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2022

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'per stirpes.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of per stirpes

1682, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for per stirpes

Latin, by familial stocks

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The first known use of per stirpes was in 1682

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Cite this Entry

“Per stirpes.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for per stirpes

per stirpes

adverb or adjective
per stir·​pes | \ pər-ˈstər-pēz, per-ˈstir-pās How to pronounce per stirpes (audio) \

Legal Definition of per stirpes

: by right of representation the estate was divided per stirpes used of a method of distributing an especially intestate estate — compare per capita

Note: Per stirpes distribution provides for division of an estate equally among the members of the group of descendants having a particular degree of kinship (as children), with the issue (that is, the offspring) of a deceased member of that group representing the deceased member, taking the deceased member's share, and dividing it equally among themselves. For example, if a decedent had three children, one of whom had already died leaving issue, the estate would be divided into thirds, with each living child receiving a one-third share, and the issue of the deceased child dividing a one-third share equally amongst themselves.

History and Etymology for per stirpes

Latin, by familial stocks


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