What Is Meant by Share and Share-Alike in a Will?

By Teo Spengler

Some legal terms carry their own peculiar definition but others mean exactly what they seem to mean. The expression share and share alike means the same thing in a will that it does on the playground: everyone who is included in the group at the time of distribution gets an equal share of the object or assets in question.

Some legal terms carry their own peculiar definition but others mean exactly what they seem to mean. The expression share and share alike means the same thing in a will that it does on the playground: everyone who is included in the group at the time of distribution gets an equal share of the object or assets in question.

Drafting Wills

A will is a legal document in which a person describes who she wants to have her assets when she dies. Bequests in a will can leave all property to one specified person or you may divide assets between two or more individuals. If an item such as a ring or a car is left in equal shares to more than one person, it is generally sold and the proceeds are divided equally.

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Equal Shares

When the person making a will wants two or more persons to have equal shares in an asset or in the entire estate, she can use the term "share and share alike." For example, a will-maker might leave a bank account to "my three daughters, share and share alike." This indicates that each of the daughters gets one-third of the money in the account. If one daughter dies before the person who created the will, in most jurisdictions the two remaining daughters will split the money.

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