Definition of the term ‘issue…. per stirpes’

Does the definition of the word
‘issue’ in a Will include a the
surviving spouse of a beneficiary
who never remarried or does this
word only refer to the biological
son of the deceased beneficiary?

Asked on May 17, 2017 under Estate Planning, Minnesota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

"Issue" are a person's children or other lineal descendants such as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Therefore, it does not mean all heirs but only the direct bloodline. Accordingly, a survivng spouse does not qualify.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Issue does not include a surviving spouse of a beneficiary.  Issue in the context of a Will means children or other descendants of the deceased and is construed as to the intention of the testator (person whose Will this is).  Again, it does NOT include a surviving spouse. 

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