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 an equal third. 

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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