Keyword Analysis & Research: issue definition in estate law

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an issue in an estate plan?

“Issue” of a person means all his or her lineal descendants of all generations, with the relationship of parent and child at each generation being determined by the definitions of child and parent. Often, an estate planning lawyer will provide that a bequest will go to a beneficiary's "issue" if that beneficiary doesn't survive.

What is issue in a will?

Issue is a technical legal term meaning all of a person’s lineal descendants, including but not limited to their children. This difference is important in interpreting distribution and substitution clauses in wills. Take care when using the words “children” and “issue” in a will and seek professional advice. Language can be confusing.

What is the meaning of issue?

A person’s “issue” means all of their descendants, or offspring, including children. “Children” are their direct descendants only. Meaning of “children” – its usual or ordinary dictionary meaning. The meaning of “children” hardly needs mentioning but are those direct offspring from their parents, that is the first generation.

What does “issue” mean in succession law?

“Issue” has a wider meaning than just “children”. It is a technical legal term meaning all of a person’s lineal descendants, including their children, (see graphic below). In state and territory succession legislation “issue” appears in provisions dealing with the construction of wills and intestacy, and in some property legislation.


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