Wills, Trusts, and Estates
Advancements are lifetime gifts of any property to one's children that are advanced payments of their intestate shares. (i.e., paying your kids their share of the inheritance early.
At common law, all gifts were presumed to be advancements unless it was established that they were not intended to be counted against inheritance.
Hotchpot is the theoretical estate that one would have if he had not given away advancements. (I.e., add the advancements into the estate.)
To calculate the distributions with hotchpot, just distribute the theoretical hotchpot and then subtract out the advancements already received from people's shares.
Many states no longer assume lifetime gifts are advancements. Some states and UPC § 2-109(a) even require an advancement to be made in writing and signed by the parent.