University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Heirs’ Property: Preventing Loss and Promoting Effective Utilization

  • Thomas Mitchell and Jennie L. Stephens
  • August 6 2014
  • W10-2014

This webinar will address important topics related to ownership of property that many poor and minority communities refer to as heirs’ property, though this very prevalent type of common ownership of property is technically known as tenancy-in-common property. Thousands of families have lost heirs’ property in lawsuits referred to as partition actions after judges resolved these cases by ordering the property sold against the wishes of most of the common owners. In addition to losing their property in these partition actions, most of these families also have lost much of the real estate wealth associated with such property ownership given that the forced sales typically yield sales prices that represent just a fraction of the market value of the land that was sold. In addition to their very insecure ownership, many families who currently own heirs’ property have not been able to use their property to build wealth for a variety of reasons which often stands in sharp contrast to how their ancestors often were able to use their property for productive economic purposes. This webinar will address strategies that those who own heirs’ property can utilize to make their ownership more secure as well as strategies heirs’ property owners can utilize to make their ownership more sustainable and economically viable.
For more on this topic, please see this related story from BBC News Magazine on .

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Inequality & Mobility, Place, Racial/Ethnic Inequality

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