If you choose to distribute assets to your children, you may see your documents reference the term "per stirpes". 

Per stirpes is a legal term that describes how assets are divided and distributed. Distributions made per stirpes mean each branch of your family receives an equal share. 

For example: Let's say you have three children. Distributing assets to your children would mean each child receives equal 1/3. 

What if one of those children is deceased, but left you two grandchildren? In that case, distributing per stirpes would mean the two living children still receive 1/3 each, but the 1/3 for the deceased child would be split between that child's two children (Your grandchildren), giving 1/6 to each grandchild. Each branch still receives 1/3, but one of those branches is split between the two grandchildren.

 

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