Per Stirpes is a Latin legal term, in definition meaning ‘by branch’. When this term is used in a Will, it is simply specifying that the gift that has been made will pass down in accordance with the family tree. At WillPack we most commonly use the ‘Per Stirpes’ clause in our Wills with the gifts of the Residuary Estate to specify if a beneficiary does predecease the testator, then the share that beneficiary would have received will pass down to their own children equally, and it will continue to pass down until a member of the original beneficiaries family tree has inherited.
For example, Mr Foster leaves his entire estate to his 2 children in equal shares, Daniel and Jean. In the Will, the Per Stirpes clause has been inserted. Mr Foster has now deceased, however Daniel has predeceased Mr Foster, therefore in accordance with the Per Stirpes clause, the share that Daniel should have received will now pass down to any children that Daniel had before he died, or if his own children has also predeceased Mr Foster then Daniel’s grandchildren would inherit, and so on. Should Daniels family tree fail entirely, then his share will pass to Jean and follow her family tree