degree of kinship

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

The level of the relationship between two persons related by blood -- for example parent to child, one sibling to another, grandparent to grandchild, uncle to nephew, and so on. This may become important when determining the heirs of an estate when there is no will because most states disburse intestate estates to the relatives with the closest degree of kinship to the decedent.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.