PER CAPITA

PER CAPITA

per capita (p[schwa]r kap-i-t[schwa]), adj. [Latin ¡°by the head¡±]

1. Divided equally among all individuals, usu. in the same class (the court will distribute the property to the descendants on a per capita basis). Cf. PER STIRPES . [Cases: Descent and Distribution 43; Wills 530. C.J.S. Descent and Distribution ¡ì¡ì 27¨C28; Wills ¡ì¡ì 1015¨C1016.]

¡°Per capita means taking as an individual and not as a representative of an ancestor. Suppose the testator … with three living children and three grandchildren who are the issue of a deceased son, had desired and had so stated in his will that his own children and the children of his deceased son should share equally in the estate. In that event the estate would be divided into six parts and each of the three children and each of the three grandchildren would receive an equal portion of the total estate ¡ª namely, one-sixth.¡± Gilbert Thomas Stephenson, Wills 30 (1934).

per capita with representation. Divided equally among all members of a class of takers, including those who have predeceased the testator, so that no family stocks are cut off by the prior death of a taker. ? For example, if T (the testator) has three children ¡ª A, B, and C ¡ª and C has two children but predeceases T, C’s children will still take C’s share when T’s estate is distributed.

2. Allocated to each person; possessed by each individual (the average annual per capita income has increased over the last two years). ¡ª per capita, adv.


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Carl, Chinese legal translator, specializes in translating legal documents pertaining to complex business disputes.