Per Stirpes

Updated: 29 February 2024

What Does Per Stirpes Mean?

Per stirpes is a Latin term that means “by root.” Per stirpes is often used to describe a situation in which assets are passed to a beneficiary’s descendants if they die before being able to receive them.

In the context of insurance, death benefits and other life insurance assets can be passed along per stirpes.

Insuranceopedia Explains Per Stirpes

As an example of per stirpes, imagine a widow about to receive the death benefit from her husband’s life insurance policy. However, if the widow dies before receiving the death benefits, they would be passed on to her children or grandchildren.

It is important to have per stirpes arrangements worked out in advance in case an unexpected death occurs.

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