Definition - What does Descendant mean?

A.descendant is a biological relative who exists as a result of the procreation of an individual. For example, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. are all descendants of the original person. Descendants are often relevant in property law when assets are being passed on from a decedent. Descendants typically have priority over non-descendants when it comes to the inheritance of items that were not specifically designated in a will.

Justipedia explains Descendant

A person may have many blood relatives, but that does not necessarily mean that they are all descendants. For example, a man's cousin is not his descendant, nor is his sister and nor is his mother. However, the man would be a descendant of his mother. This is because he exists as a result of her procreation.

When there are no named beneficiaries in wills, whether or not a relative is a descendant can have a large impact on the distribution of assets.

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