Issue (genealogy)

In genealogy and wills, issue refers to a person's lineal descendants.

Lineal descendantsEdit

"Issue" typically means a person's lineal descendants—all genetic descendants of a person, regardless of degree.[1] Issue is a narrower category than heirs, which includes spouses, ancestors, and collaterals (siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles).[2] This meaning of issue arises most often in wills and trusts.[3] A person who has no living lineal descendants is said to have died without issue.


  1. ^ Glenda K. Harnad, J.D. and Karl Oakes, J.D., Corpus Juris Secundum, Descent and Distribution § 35 (2015)
  2. ^ HEIR, Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014).
  3. ^ For example, In re Auclair's Estate, 75 Cal. App. 2d 189, 170 P.2d 29 (1st Dist. 1945); Brawford v. Wolfe, 103 Mo. 391, 15 S.W. 426 (1891)