Per Stipes

This too is a Latin phrase translated as “by roots.” This is also commonly seen as lineal descendants per stirpes, or ldps. It refers to how property rights pass when an heir or beneficiary dies before another person. If something is to pass per stirpes, it means that property that would have passed to the heir or beneficiary who died before goes to that predeceasing beneficiary’s lineal descendants. An example is if Alfred has two children (Normand and Kevin), and one of those children (Kevin) predeceased Alfred, then Kevin’s share or the item that was to go to Kevin goes to his children equally. In the end, Normand receives one-half, and Kevin’s one-half is equally shared by his two children. A per capita (Latin meaning “by head”) distribution wherein Normand would receive one-third and each of Kevin’s children would receive one-third.

Personal Representative

This is a gender neutral term used to describe an Executor or Administrator and other types of administrators of the estate of a decedent.

Power of Attorney

A document wherein a person (known as the principal) appoints another (known as an Attorney-in-Fact or agent) to manage the principal’s affairs. If covering business or financial matters, the document may be titled as a General Power of Attorney or a Durable Power of Attorney. The authority granted in a Power of Attorney terminates when a principal revokes it, dies, or becomes incapacitated. The Attorney-in-Fact’s authority will terminate when a principal dies, but if the Power of Attorney is “durable,” it remains effective after the principal loses capacity.


The personal representative named in a Last Will and Testament to oversee the probate process for the decedent’s estate.

Public Administrator

Is a county official who is appointed by the judges of the circuit court or elected by the county’s citizens, depending on the particular county. He or she is a public fiduciary the court may appoint as a person’s guardian, conservator, or personal representative.

Accessibility Toolbar