Modified Per Stirpes

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Modified per stirpes is a system of determining the descendants that will take from individuals who have died intestate. Any part of the intestate estate not passing to the decedent’s surviving spouse is passed to the descendants of the decedent. In the modified per stirpes system, the estate is divided into primary shares at the generation nearest to the decedent that contains at least one living member. Thus, if all of the decedent’s children are dead, but at least one grandchild is alive, the primary shares are determined at the grandchildren generation rather than the children generation. If a person from the “primary share” generation has predeceased the decedent, that one primary share is further divided by the number of people at the next generation.