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Event Date Wed Aug 25 EDT - Thu Aug 26 EDT (10 months ago)
Location Virtual
Region Americas

Preserving Family Real Estate, Generational Wealth, and Heritage: A Virtual National Institute on Heirs' Property

Explore the fundamentals of heirs property and the efforts to prevent and deter the loss of land and home across generations, with a special focus on the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, which has been adopted in 18 jurisdictions and introduced in at least 8 more.

Why you should attend?
If you are committed to economic justice or practice real property, trusts and estates law, you need to attend this program and develop the understanding and necessary skills to recognize and help family members retain their interest in family real property across generations. There will be a special focus on the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, adopted in 18 jurisdictions so far and introduced in at least 8 more.

What is Heirs Property? Why is the UPHPA important?
The Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA) is a uniform state law addressing a widespread, well-documented problem faced by many low- to middle-income families across the country. Many of these families, particularly people of color or the Appalachian poor, own small shares of a farm or an urban house as tenants-in-common because generations ago, their families were unable to have a will written, so ownership has passed down through multiple generations in ever smaller intestate shares. They are vulnerable to predatory investors where a single investor can purchase a small interest and petition a court for a partition sale. Most heirs are surprised to learn that a court can compel the sale of land they do not wish to sell.

The highly unstable ownership these families experience stands in sharp contrast to the secure property rights wealthier families typically enjoy. Heirs property owners have been dispossessed of their real property and much of their real property-related wealth as a result of court-ordered partition sales of tenancy-in-common properties. These families have also lost their dwellings, their family history, and in many cases their livelihood.

The UPHPA is not a silver bullet, but it helps protect heirs through a series of due-process reforms: independent appraisal, a right for heirs to buyout the cotenant requesting sale, a strengthened preference for physical division of the land when feasible, and if a sale is ultimately ordered, an open-market listing to ensure the highest possible return. The UPHPA may also help a surprising number of wealthier families who own tenancy-in-common property under the default rules and who also experience great problems with this ownership form.

Two Days of Learning
Develop the understanding and necessary skills to recognize and help family members retain their interest in family real property across generations.

The Benefits of a Virtual Conference
While the world recovers from the pandemic and we look forward to being in-person in 2022, this is your chance to get the latest information and CLE from leading lights of the heirs' property arena at a lower price and without the cost of travel.


2021 Speakers


Mavis Gragg
Director of the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Project, American Forest Foundation

Scott Kohanowski
Director of the Homeowner Stability and LGBT Advocacy Projects, New York City Bar


Erica Levine Powers, Esq.
Immediate Past Chair, ABA Section of State & Local Government Law


Ebonie Alexander
Executive Director, Black Family Land Trust

Dãnia Davy, Esq.
Director of Land Retention & Advocacy, Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund

David Dietrich
Owner-Principal, Dietrich & Associates, PC

Jill Mariani
Assistant District Attorney, New York County District Attorney's Office

Thomas Mitchell
Professor of Law and Co-Director, Program in Real Estate and Community Development Law, Texas A&M University School of Law

Ben Orzeske
Chief Counsel, Uniform Law Commission

Lizbeth Parra
Staff Attorney, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Inc.

Sanjay Wagle
Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs, California Association of Realtors

Josh Walden, Esq.
Chief Operating Officer, Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation

Heather Way
Clinical Professor & Director of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, Univ of Texas School of Law

Farrah Wilder
Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, California Association of Realtors

Kent Wimmer
Senior Northwest Florida Representative, Defenders of Wildlife

Sponsors & Partners

2021 Sponsor

• Austen Gowder

• ABA - Civil Rights and Social Justice Section
• ABA - Commission on Homelessness and Poverty
• ABA - Government and Public Sectors Lawyers Division
• ABA - Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
• ABA - Senior Lawyers Division
• ABA - Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division