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Home » Events » Heirs’ Property as a Vacancy Issue: How Local Governments Can Address Tangled Title to Address or Prevent Property Abandonment and Deterioration

Heirs’ Property as a Vacancy Issue: How Local Governments Can Address Tangled Title to Address or Prevent Property Abandonment and Deterioration

July 16, 2024 | 2:00 PM ET
2024-july-v2v-webinar

Event Type: Virtual

Topic(s): Local Analysis, Racial Equity

When: July 16, 2024

Time: 2:00 PM ET

Cost: Free

When a property owner dies without a will or estate plan, state laws governing inheritance determine how the property is passed to “heirs”—the family members legally entitled to it—creating what is called “heirs’ property.” Probate courts can clarify the distribution of real property (e.g. land and buildings), but some family members may be unaware of probate, lack the resources to use it, or distrust the system.  

These unresolved property issues become more complex over time. Tangled title limits access to resources to maintain the property. Some heirs may have no interest in caring for the property. Distant heirs may not even know they own a share. As a result, heirs’ properties can fall into serious disrepair and sit abandoned for decades, harming neighborhood stability. 

In this webinar, the Center for Community Progress, Jacksonville LISC, and the Chatham Savannah Land Bank Authority will discuss how to address heirs’ property issues, and begin to examine how these issues intersect with efforts to address vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties.  

Join this webinar to learn: 

  • Why fractional, unrecorded ownership can set properties on the path to deterioration and abandonment by making it difficult—often impossible—to sell or insure the property; get property tax relief; or secure funding to repair or maintain it 
  • Hear about practical examples of local government and community partners’ work to address heirs’ property and maintain community stability, including:
    • How Jacksonville LISC has helped communities understand the scale of heirs’ property, expanded access to legal service to resolve heirs’ property issues, and worked with community leaders to encourage families to engage in estate planning  
    • How the Chatham Savannah Land Bank Authority is working to reconnect heirs with family land 

Speakers:

  • Matt Kreis – General Counsel, Center for Community Progress
  • Kristopher Smith – Community Development Officer, LISC Jacksonville
  • Alison Goldey – Director, Chatham County/City of Savannah Land Bank Authority

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