Definition: Share and Share Alike

“Share and share alike” is a designation applied to a gift in a will to be shared by a group of two or more beneficiaries. The designation provides a clear rule for how the gift should be divided among the beneficiaries, taking into account the possibility that one or more of the beneficiaries may fail to survive the testator.

When a gift in a will is designated to pass to a group of two or more beneficiaries “share and share alike,” the gift will be divided into as many equal shares as there are designated beneficiaries who survive the testator. Each surviving beneficiary in the group receives one share.1 If all of the beneficiaries in the group fail to survive, then the gift will pass to designated contingent beneficiaries, if any, or else with the residue of the estate.

See also per capita at each generation and right of representation.

  1. It is unclear whether a gift given to beneficiaries “share and share alike” will be prevented from lapsing under the anti-lapse statute if a named beneficiary of such a gift were a close relative of the testator and failed to survive. For the sake of removing doubt, our free simple will template defines “share and share alike” in a manner intended to prevent the anti-lapse statute from applying.