African American landowners have been reluctant to take advantage of intergenerational succession laws which provide for an orderly transfer of property from one generation to the next. This reluctance has led to a prevalence of heir property. Heir property is created when a person dies intestate. Heir property has created an impediment to wealth accumulation and has contributed to African American land loss in America. Partition actions are a byproduct of heir property which has operated to accelerate the loss of real property in the African American community. The Uniform Partition of Heir Property Act provides for procedural safeguards that would allow for cotenants of heir property to buy out other heirs and provide more discernable notices of partition actions. These factors will likely militate against the precipitous loss of African American lands due to partition lawsuits initiated because of heir property.
Keywords: Heir Property, Partition, Land Loss, Interstate Succession
Copeland, Roy W.
"Heir Property in the African American Community: From Promised Lands to Problem Lands,"
Professional Agricultural Workers Journal:
Available at: http://tuspubs.tuskegee.edu/pawj/vol2/iss2/2