I've been researching Per Capita / Per Stirpes and their variants. Per Capita at Each Generation seems like the one I want, but I have a question about how it is divided in this example, which I have been unable to find answers to online.

Given an estate of $360,000, how would it be divided in this scenario:

  • Child A, living, has two living children A1 and A2.
  • Child B, deceased, has two living children B1 and B2.
  • Child C, deceased, has one living child C1.

The first generation (A and B) is straightforward: $120,000 goes to A, and $240,000 is pooled and goes to the next generation.

The second generation (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1) is where my question comes in. Since A was living, are A1 and A2 considered part of the pool for that generation or not? In other words, is the $240,000 at this generation split between B1, B2, and C1; or is it split between A1, A2, B1, B2, and C1?

The key here is the A branch, where A also has living children. I have been unable to find an example online that covers this scenario.

  • I don't have time for a full answer but the issue is well explored at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_stirpes#Per_capita_at_each_generation – ohwilleke Oct 8 at 19:34
  • @ohwilleke: Yes, I read the Wikipedia entry before posting my question. Their examples do not include the situation in my question (a living child with living children). – Stephen Cleary Oct 9 at 13:45
  • Children of a living child do not take (at all) in per capita at each generation. But, the children of deceased children all take the same share even if the deceased children had different numbers of children each. The same logic applies on down the line. – ohwilleke Oct 10 at 22:28

My understanding is that in this example, A would get $120,000, B1 and B2 would get $60,000 each, and C1 $120,ooo. That is, an equal division is made at each branch, and each branch is considered separately, following down the tree only when the parent is deceased.

If there had also been child D deceased, with children D1 deceased and D2 living, each of whom had two children D1A, D1B, D2A and D2B, then the D-branch would share equally with A, B, and C. D1A and D1B,would each get 1/4 of the D-branch share, or 1/16th of the total sum. D2 would get 1/2 of the D-branch share, or 1/8th of the total suam, and neither D2A nor D2B wold get anything.

If there had been a child E deceased, who had no living descendants, no share would be awarded to anyone because of E-branch; rather its share would be split among the other branches, as if E had never existed.

In short no one whose parent in the line of descent is living gets any award.

  • 3
    I believe you're describing per stirpes, not per capita. – Stephen Cleary May 12 at 0:46

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