Capita(redirected from caput)
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CAPITA, or PER CAPITA. By heads. An expression of frequent occurrence in laws regulating the distribution of the estates of persons dying intestate. When all the persons entitled to shares in the distribution are of the same degree of kindred to the deceased person, (e.g. when all are grandchildren,) and claim directly from him in their own right and not through an intermediate relation, they take per capita, that is, equal shares, or share and share alike. But when they are of different degrees of kindred, (e. g. some the children, others the grandchildren or the great grandchildren of the, deceased,) those more remote take er stirpem or per stirpes, that is, they take respectively the shares their parents (or other relation standing in the same degree with them of the surviving kindred entitled) who are in the nearest degree of kindred to the intestate,) would have taken had they respectively survived the intestate. Reeves' Law of Descent, Introd. xxvii.; also 1 Rop. on Leg. 126, 130. See Per Capita; Per Stirpes; Stirpes;