Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Next of Kin Definition:

The nearest blood relative of a deceased.

Related Terms: Lineal Descendant, Collateral Descendant, Consanguinity, Issue

The expression has come to describe those persons most related to a dead person and therefore set to inherit the decesased's property in that order of priority.

Most jurisdictions have issued statutes that fully recognize adopted children and even common law spouses and thus, in estate matters, the common law definition of "nearest blood relative" has lost much of its authority.

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