degrees of kinship

A classification necessitated where descent is to "next of kin" or "nearest of kin," degrees being determined by counting the generations upward from the intestate to the nearest common ancestor, then downward to the claimant, each generation representing one degree. Anno: 54 ALR2d 1012, § 1. Such is the so-called civil-law method which prevails in most American jurisdictions. There is another method of computing degrees of kinship, known as the common-law or canon-law method. According to this method, degrees are determined by the number of generations from the nearest common ancestor to the intestate or to the claimant, taking the longer of the two lines where they are unequal. Anno: 54 ALR2d 1013, § 1[b].

Ballentine's law dictionary. . 1998.

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