Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Lineal Descendant Definition:

A person who is a direct descendant such as a child to his or her natural parent.

Related Terms: Collateral Descendant, Next of Kin, Consanguinity, Issue, Descendant, Parentelic

Synonymous with next of kin or issue.

Descendants in an unbroken line with another, typically deceased individual.

A person's biological children is the most common example of lineal decsendants. In monarchies, the right to the throne on the death of an incumbent historically vests in his oldest male lineal descendant.

It is not unusual to conduct DNA or patenity tests done to confirm the status of lineal descendancy.

In Co-operative Trust Co., Justice Dielschneider of the Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan wrote:

"Lineage is a fact. A lineal descendant is a kin, i.e., a blood relative. Lineage deals with one's roots."

Distinguished from a collateral descendant.


  • Co-Operative Trust Co. of Canada v. Saskatchewan, [1984] 1 WWR 47. Aka Re Kowbel and published at 16 ETR 142.

Categories & Topics:

Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only)

If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Law Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!