The degree of kinship chart indicates how close a family member is to another family member. When a person dies intestate, the degree of kinship is important because states allocate estate assets based on kinship. A Degrees of Kinship Chart is a diagram that depicts the relationships within a family, society, or culture. Kinship diagrams are similar to family trees in many ways. However, rather than listing specific names or modeling the chart after a single family, kinship diagrams are used more broadly to understand how most families in a culture function. In most states, spouses and children take precedence, but the estate then passes to the next closest level of kin, such as parents and siblings.