lawful issue

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In the law of trusts and estates, an issue is a lineal descendant of an individual. For example, a person’s grandchild will be considered an issue. Lawyers in these fields will often have to determine all living issues of a decedent. Determining all living issues is particularly important in cases where a person has passed away without having a will. In these situations, the decedent’s property will pass down according to the state’s intestate law.

In the past, the term lawful issue was used to describe children born to married parents while excluding those children born out of wedlock. However, the term now refers to all issues (see above) regardless of the parents’ marital status.

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

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[Last updated in June of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]