If you are wondering if there is a way in your estate planning for the heirs of a person who preceded you in death for their family to get their share of the estate, the answer is yes. Using per stirpes instead of per capital allows a person in Louisiana to pass assets to the next generation that is alive, regardless if that is their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren.
Per stirpes example
Suppose you have four children. In estate planning, you leave instructions for your assets to be divided equally between your children. One of your children dies before you do, but they have two children. When you die, your estate is still divided into four parts. Each of your children gets 25%. The remaining 25% is divided in half, with each child getting 12.5%.
Advantages of stirpes distribution
Many people prefer stirpes distribution because it simplifies the estate planning process while ensuring your assets pass down through your family line at the time of your death. Furthermore, it eliminates the need to question who died first if you and the first heir died close together, such as in a car accident.
Disadvantages of stirpes distribution
One of the most significant disadvantages of stirpes distribution is locating all the people who will receive part of the estate. This is especially an issue in larger families where family members have not stayed in close contact. Furthermore, using per stirpes in your estate plan may not be your wish. For example, if you prefer to pass part of your estate to your favorite charity if one of your beneficiaries precedes you in death.
There are advantages and disadvantages to using per stirpes in your estate planning. Other options are available if this is not the right choice for you.