Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Capita, Distribution per. In the administration of the personal estate of a person dying intestate (that is, without leaving a will) the claimants, or the persons who are legally entitled to such personal estate, are said to take per capita when they claim in their own rights as in equal degree of kindred, in contradistinction to claiming by right of representation or per stirpes, as it is termed. For instance, if the next of kin be the intestate's three brothers, A, B, and C, here his effects are divided into three equal shares, and distributed per capita - one share to each; but if A (one of them) had died previously, leaving three children, and B (another brother) had also died leaving two children, then the distribution would be by representation or per stirpes as it is termed - one-third would have gone to A's three children, another third to B's two children, and the remaining third to C, the surviving brother.