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Avoiding the Nightmare of Heirs’ Property

heirs' property cautions

You may be wondering, “What exactly is Heir’s Property?”

Typically, Heirs’ Property refers to family-owned property inherited by multiple generations without formal legal proceedings necessary to prove ownership.

Sometimes, “heirs’ property” refers simply to any property owned primarily by relatives as tenants in common.

Without an estate plan, a will, or any formal probate proceedings at an owner’s death, heirs may possess the property. However, without the clear title necessary to prove their ownership status, they might be limited in what they can do.

They may not be able to sell the property, use the property as collateral for financing, or receive USDA benefits for farming activities conducted on the property. Without this legal process, land records never reflect the next generation of owners.

In many cases, this lack of legal process continues through multiple generations. This results in a situation where formal land title records show that the property is owned by someone who may have passed away decades earlier. It also means that the heirs may be at a greater risk of losing the property through a partition action or because they fail to pay their property taxes.

The best and most cost-effective solution to the title issues associated with heirs’ property is prevention.

Creating a will prior to death will help facilitate clear title. Additionally, heirs should understand the need to probate the will after death. If there was no will, they should file an intestacy action. When these steps have not been followed, those discovering the problem should seek legal counsel to help resolve the title concerns as soon as possible. The longer the problem is ignored, the larger it will grow. The headaches it will cause once you decide to clean it up are many and can be avoided by contacting a lawyer to create a probate avoidance strategy to avoid the Heir’s Property situation.

Think you could be facing an Heirs’ Property situation?

Want to find out how to avoid the headaches? Give my office a call at (470) 235-7868 and let us help you prevent the nightmares associated with this complex legal issue and gain clear title to your property.


Looking to find an experienced estate lawyer in the Georgia area who is skilled in asset protection and estate plan preparation? Shannon Pawley is an attorney in Georgia with expertise in estate planning and asset protection. Shannon can provide assistance with creating an estate plan to include making a will and how to establish a trust properly. If you have questions about asset protection or questions about making an estate plan, reach out to Shannon and she will be glad to help answer all the estate planning questions you might have!

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