What does per stirpes mean in Life Insurance?


It’s a term that is used in life insurance and other legal documents to describe how many people need to die for your share of the inheritance to be distributed. This term comes from Latin and means “by the stirps”.

It was introduced as a way to increase the prospect of a payout when in the original document, they were only considering one death per person. So, if two people died and one person survived, all the money would go to one survivor. However, by introducing “by the stirps”, there is now an equal chance that each of the two survivors will receive some money.

A similar term is “by co-tenancy“, which is used in wills. It means “by kindred”.

It is a term that also appears in other situations, such as accounting and law. For example, it is used in the bill of sale to describe how much ownership you are buying with the other person acquiring the item.

There is also a similar term, “by sporting chance”, which means that there is some chance that someone else could die instead of your nominated executor. This term comes from a case in which it was argued that even though there was only one death per lot inland, the male survivor had no right to the land because he risked dying before his female cousin did.

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What does per stirpes mean in Life Insurance
What does per stirpes mean in Life Insurance

What are Per Stirpes Process?

Per stirpes is the process of distributing your property in the event that you die without a will. It is only necessary if the estate exceeds a certain amount, and if you have children. Here’s an article discussing per stirpes and its importance.

Does Per Stirpes mean equal?

The word stirpes are Latin for “branches” and this term is used in both civil law, Latin law, and common law systems to determine who will inherit what proportion of the estate. The distribution of an estate to children or grandchildren by their parents or grandparents is called inheritance per stirpes. This means that each child inherits an equal share of the parent’s property. The share that each child gets depends on whether they are living with or without their parents at the time of death.

Can a spouse be per stirpes?

Since our loved ones are usually in a different place than us, it’s not uncommon for people to get married without fully contemplating the legal ramifications of the arrangement. A few simple rules can help you avoid any problems down the road.


We hope you enjoyed our article on what per stirpes mean in life insurance. We know that many people will be interested in this topic because of its importance to the legal field. If you want to find out more about this topic, we recommend that you read the full article in our blog post.

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