A Definition of Heir Property: It’s Complicated
Families with assets experience greater financial stability and economic mobility as compared to families with the same income but without significant assets. These critical assets, notably savings, not only provide a cushion against economic shocks, facilitating financial stability, but can also provide the feeder capital necessary to get a college education, job training, or a home, factors associated with upward economic mobility.
Ensuring that these assets are properly distributed after their passing, amongst next of kin, whether male or female, becomes every owner’s responsibility. Whether that is done officially by drawing up a will with the help of a Los Angeles probate attorney (or one at other locations), or through verbal agreements amongst family members-the will should hold equal weight however exercised. More often than not, however, legalities have to come to the rescue as mere verbal communication cannot guarantee a willful and consensual disbursal of all property and assets of the deceased. This is usually the case with most estate plans and probates.
There is, however, at least one asset type that often requires a significant secondary investment before families can use it for those purposes. Heir property is family owned, inherited land owned by multiple heirs with undivided interests. As such, it is also “the most unstable form of land ownership” in the United States. Families with resources have the means to hire legal counsel and avoid or remediate this complex and often untenable status. However families with low or moderate wealth are often unable to make the secondary investment in managing the land that would unlock its value, even though they are the very families that need it most.