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.

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.

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.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
How to List Cash in a Last Will & Testament

References

Resources

Related articles

How Is Property Divided Equally With a Will in Place?

Often, it is not possible to divide an entire life's worth of property equally between two or more people, but you can make your best efforts to do so in your will. If you have valuable property that cannot be divided, you may instead decide to make specific gifts to your loved ones, and avoid the hassle of trying to divide your estate perfectly evenly. After you die, an executor or personal representative may be appointed to distribute your property according to your wishes.

What Is a Sole Heir & Executor?

The terms "sole heir" and "executor" are commonly used in estate planning and probate law. The sole heir of a deceased person's estate stands to inherit the whole of the estate; the executor is a person designated in a last will and testament to settle a deceased person's estate. Executors either settle a deceased person's estate outside of probate court or through the probate process.

What Is a Universal Heir?

Creating a will gives you the opportunity to dictate who gets what after you die. After paying off your debts, the probate court distributes any remaining assets to your loved ones according to the directions you provided in your will. If you leave all of your remaining assets to one person rather than stipulating that the court divide your assets between more than one party, the beneficiary of the inheritance is your “sole” or “universal” heir.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

Do You Have to Partition Undivided Property in a Will?

Partitioning is a judicial process that divides co-owned real estate among its owners. A will can transfer the ...

Does a Will Override a Joint Account?

Married couples often have joint bank accounts, and it’s not uncommon for elderly parents to share an account with an ...

Arkansas Inheritance Laws

In Arkansas, a resident can make a valid will if he's at least 18 years old and mentally competent. Arkansas law also ...

How to Write a Will for Property

Modern courts make no distinction between the terms "will" and "testament." Both describe a document indicating who is ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED