Per capita is the legal term for one of the ways that assets being transferred by your will can be distributed to the beneficiaries of your estate.
Under a per capita distribution, each person named as beneficiary receives an equal share. However, the way your will is drawn up and the laws of the state where the will is probated may produce different results if one of those beneficiaries has died.
For example, if you specify that your children inherit your estate per capita, in some states only those children who survive you would inherit. In other states your surviving children and the surviving descendents of your deceased children would receive equal shares. That could result in your estate being split among more heirs than if all of your children outlive you.
- Browse Related Terms: Beneficiary, Contingent beneficiary, Decedent, Inherited IRA, Intestate, Per capita, Per stirpes, Rights of survivorship
Also listed in: