Background Information on Heirs' Property and Land Loss

State Specific

Georgia Appleseed has written a manual for Georgia attorneys (PDF file) who are looking to take on heirs' property cases. It also has a heirs' property guide for Georgia families (PDF file). Georgia Appleseed has also released a report identifying the prevalence of heirs property in 5 Georgia counties (PDF file).

Louisiana Appleseed has authored a helpful brochure called "Protect Your Property: Heirs' Property in Louisiana" (PDF file).

Thanks to the work of the University of Wisconsin Law School, HPRC has originated a brochure for heirs' property owners in North Carolina (PDF file) that focuses on how to retain such property. Another Alabama-based guide developed with assistance from the ABA Section of Real Property, Trusts and Estates helps heirs property owners consider different options for use of their land.

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights has a brochure for heirs' property owners in Mississippi (PDF file).

HPRC member Land Loss Prevention Project has a North Carolina-focused manual called Ten Ways to Save Your Land (PDF file).

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has a brochure about Heirs' Property in Alabama (PDF file).

Subject Specific

HPRC member Thomas Mitchell, a professor at University of Wisconsin Law School, has authored several pieces about the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, including Reforming Property Law To Address Devastating Land Loss (lead article in the 2014 Alabama Law Review), Uniform Law Update for the Probate & Property Magazine, and Historic Partition Law Reform: A Game Changer for Heirs’ Property Owners (which will appear in a USDA e-publication).

. He has also written the following about various subjects related to heirs property:

HPRC member Craig Baab of Alabama Appleseed has authored an article on the connection between heirs' property and land planning, which focuses on the case of the Steve Larkin family land. The article costs $34 to download, but if you cannot afford a copy, please email Craig Baab for the possibility of obtaining a copy.

HPRC member UNC Center for Civil Rights has a brochure about protecting heirs' property from partition actions (PDF file).

The Indian Land Tenure Foundation has information about fractionated land ownership within Indian reservations.


Check out a brochure about heirs' property designed by HPRC member Black Family Land Trust (PDF file).

HPRC member Federation of Southern Cooperatives has a page discussing a variety of causes of loss of heirs' property, and a brochure about all things heirs' property owners should know (PDF file).

Check out the page on the fundamental nature of heirs' property published by Auburn University's Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology.

Documents from Presentations

View an heirs' property presentation (Powerpoint file) designed for public outreach purposes.

Studies and Statistics

The USDA published a paper on GIS methodologies for identifying heirs property (PDF file).

Check out the Southern Coalition for Social Justice's Heirs' Property Data Study for Orange County, North Carolina (PDF file).

Read Janice Dyer's study of partition cases in Alabama (PDF file).

Read University of Guelph Professor Brady Deaton's Study of heirs' property issues in Appalachia (PDF file).

See some statistics on Auburn University's website on black farm land loss in Alabama statewide as well as by Alabama county.

HPRC member Federation of Southern Cooperatives has a timeline showing black land loss over the last 150 years.

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