4 Estate Planning Terms to Know Regarding Inheritance

millman law group estate planning terms

Learn these estate planning terms to make your decisions.

Are you planning to create an estate plan and prepare for the future of your family? Understanding the estate planning terms used to choose beneficiaries and heirs is one crucial step in creating your estate plan. At The Millman Law Group, our skilled estate planning attorneys will help you understand the following terms as well as what these designations mean for who receives your assets. 


This is the first word you must know when navigating estate planning. The decedent is the deceased person and, therefore, the most important person in any estate planning or probate scenario. This person’s estate will be the subject of the probate proceedings concerned with distributing their property according to their wishes outlined in their Will. 


Not to be confused with the decedent, a “descendant” is another significant person when determining inheritance. A descendant is a living relative of the deceased who may be entitled to receive some of the decedent’s property. A descendant is often a child or grandchild of the decedent. They are typically related by blood or are a direct family member of the deceased person. 


An heir is someone who can also inherit from the decedent. Unlike a descendant, however, an heir can be a person in the direct line of descent or someone designated to inherit when no Will is present. When the deceased person does not leave a valid Will, their heirs are determined through state intestacy laws

Per Stirpes

Per stirpes, Latin for “by roots,” is a legal term that refers to how a person’s money and property will be left to their heirs and beneficiaries. Per stirpes is a way of deciding how you want an intestate estate to be distributed to your beneficiaries if they die before you but leave heirs. 

For example, if you leave your assets to your children but one of them dies before you do, a per stirpes distribution allocates your child’s share of your estate evenly to their children. 

The best way to determine who receives assets from your estate is to create a plan with your experienced attorney at The Millman Law Group. Our attorneys can recommend the best plans for your unique estate and help you devise backup plans for your beneficiary choices in case something changes in the future. Your lawyer will also help you understand these essential estate planning terms so you can deliver your beloved assets to your heirs.

Estate Planning Made Easy With Millman Law Group

Millman Law Group, PLLC is rare because it’s one of the only law firms that offer life planning in South Florida. From life care planning to the preparation of detailed estate plans, Millman Law Group has committed to serving Floridian elderly communities in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Ocean Ridge, Hillsboro Beach, and many other areas since 2018. Our dedicated team also specializes in special needs Trusts and catering to any age demographic because we know for certain it’s never too early to start preparing you and your family for your future. For the latest news in estate planning and elder care law, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Pinterest. You can also contact us at 561-463-6480.