Lineal Descendant Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Lineal Descendant, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Lineal Descendant?

(n) Lineal descendants are the direct line of relationship flowing downwards from an individual starting with his children, grand children and their children and so on . Unlike collateral descendants it wont include brothers and sisters

History and Meaning of Lineal Descendant

Lineal descendant refers to a person's direct descendants, including children, grandchildren and so on. It is an important term in property law and inheritance law because the transfer of property often depends on the line of the descendants. The concept of lineal descent stems from the feudal system, where land passed from father to son. This idea has continued to shape inheritance laws and property distribution in many countries, including the United States.

In general, lineal descendants have rights to inherit property from their ancestors, but the specifics may vary depending on the jurisdiction, family relations, and the type of property in question. The term is often used in wills and trusts to determine who will receive property upon the death of the owner.

Examples of Lineal Descendant

  1. John Smith passed away, leaving behind his wife and two children. John's lineal descendants are his two children and their children, if any.
  2. The trust fund created by Susan's grandfather specifies that only his lineal descendants are eligible to receive the funds. This means Susan, her brother, and their children, but not any cousins or other relatives.
  3. According to the laws of the state, if someone dies without leaving a valid will, their property will pass to their lineal descendants, starting with their children.

Legal Terms Similar to Lineal Descendant

  1. Collateral descendants: This refers to a person's indirect descendants, such as siblings, cousins, and other relatives.
  2. Ascendant: The opposite of a descendant, referring to a person's direct ancestors, such as parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.
  3. Per stirpes: A legal term used in inheritance law to refer to the division of a deceased person's assets among their descendants, typically in equal shares by family branch if one of the descendants is deceased.