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You need to understand what an issue is. Here’s what to know.

What is an issue?

This term issue has more than one meaning, but in this legal instance, issue refers to your progeny or lineal descendants. This includes your children, great-grandchildren and great great-grandchildren.

Deeper definition

Lawyers use the term to refer to an individual’s direct bloodline. Frequently, you will find the term “issue” in estate planning documents, such as wills. The difference between people who are your issue and those who are your relatives is that your issue only includes those who are your direct descendants.

It is important to note that issue doesn’t always refer only to biological children. Some court cases have found individuals raised as the deceased’s children qualify as their issue, even if they are not biologically related.

Issue example

When writing your will, you have to state who you want to receive your assets after your death.

Ready to start your estate planning but aren’t sure where to begin? Check out Bankrate’s estate planning guide to get started.


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