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Per stirpes (/ /; "by roots" or "by stock") is a legal term from Latin used in the law of inheritance and estates. An estate of a decedent is distributed per stirpes if each branch of the family is to receive an equal share of an estate. When the heir in the first generation of a branch predeceased the decedent, the share that would have been given to the heir would be distributed among the heir's issue in equal shares. It may also be known as strict per stirpes or the old English approach, and differs from distribution per capita, as members of the same generation may inherit different amounts. In section 33 of the Wills Act 1837 in England and Wales, it is called according to their stock.