Per stirpes means by the root. Per capita means by persons. These terms are usually used in a will when a testator is leaving property to several persons, like children. If the testator has three children and says "I give my property to my children per stirpes and not per capita, what he means is that he wants his estate to be divided into three parts (roots) and for each child to receive one part. If a child predeceases the testator, his part (root) will go to his heirs.
By Robert Ray a Texas inheritance attorney. The foregoing information is general in nature and does not apply to every fact situation. If you are concerned about Texas inheritance laws, inheritance rights, probate limits, have a family inheritance dispute, a property dispute or want to know the reasons for contesting a will or protecting a will from a contest and need an inheritance lawyer, we can help. Please click on the "Contact Us" tab above and use the contact form to contact us today. We are Texas inheritance lawyers and would love to learn about your case. There is no fee for the initial consultation.