FAQs – Heirs’ Property

If YOUR questions is not answered below, please call the Center at any time and we will be happy to help you.  Call: (843) 745-7055.

What does “clearing” title mean and how does it benefit me?

The definition of “clearing” title is having the name of the deceased person removed from the deed of the property by legal measures and replacing it with the name(s) of the living heirs of that deceased person. There are three ways a title can be cleared: quiet title action, probate the estate, and determination of heirs. Having the title “cleared” will allow you to tap into the “wealth” or “equity” that is held in your land. With clear title, you can obtain a mortgage to build a new home or start a small business, or access grant funds to make repairs to your current home.

Does the entire family have to agree on what to do with the family land?

YES. Family agreement is required before the Center’s attorney will proceed with resolving heirs’ property issues. The Center will not risk taking an heir’s case to court without a family agreement because an heir, who doesn’t agree, can stand up in court and challenge the proceeding.  If that happens, the family runs the risk of the Court ordering the property sold. The Center designs and conducts customized “Family Presentations” for all the heirs of a family to come together and reach an agreement.

Can you help me with heirs’ property advice over the phone?

NO.  The Center’s lawyer cannot give legal advice over the phone. Face-to-face meetings are required to ensure that all relevant information is obtained and reviewed with the appropriate family member(s).  Call the Center’s Paralegal at: (843) 745-7055 to schedule a FREE one-hour “Advice and Counsel” appointment to talk about your particular heirs’ property issues with the Center’s attorney.

How much will it cost me for the Center to help resolve my heirs’ property issue?

Heirs’ property owners who become clients of the Center must meet established income guidelines. Once you become a client of the Center, all direct, legal services provided to resolve your HP issues are FREE. However, clients are asked to pay for costs associated with their case, which might include court filing fees, cost for publication in the paper, fees for a title search, and the cost for any survey the family wants to have completed, etc.

How long will the process take for me to obtain “clear” title?

Each case is different and varies with each family situation. Resolving an heirs’ property issue can take anywhere from 6 months to several years.

I want to sell my family’s land and I need an attorney to help me with the process. Can the Center help me with this?

The Center’s mission is to help low wealth families wishing to KEEP their family land. A family wishing to sell the family land can afford to hire an attorney.  The Center will be happy to provide anyone wishing to sell their family land with a list of attorneys who have attended a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar hosted by the Center.

I don’t know all of my relatives nor where they live.  How important is the family tree?

Very important! Creating your “family tree” is a necessary part of resolving heirs’ property issues.  All parties who have an interest in the property in question must be accounted for and notified of upcoming actions. The Center will provide as much help and resources as we can for you to do this critical work.

I, and several members of my family, want to clear title to our heirs’ property but we have some family members who don’t believe it’s necessary. How can the Center help us with this?

The Center provides a service called a “Family Presentation” to help families come together and reach an agreement about what to do with their land. The “Family Presentation” is a customized version of the Center’s Heirs’ Property 101 educational seminar – specifically tailored to provide the information and answers that a particular family needs.