Who We Are


The Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a mission to protect heirs’ property and promote its sustainable use to provide increased economic benefit to low wealth families through education and legal services.

The Center accomplishes its mission by providing educational and legal services to (1) low-income heirs’ property owners, (2) nonprofit organizations serving heirs’ property owners, (3) attorneys and judges handling heirs’ property cases, and (4) the community-at-large in Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester and Georgetown counties in South Carolina. The Center’s goal is to ensure that heirs’ receive and exercise the full rights associated with property ownership.


The Center began as a project at the Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) in 2002 with input from heirs’ property (HP) owners, attorneys, judges, nonprofit service providers and funders on the design of the project. At the time, CCF Senior Program Director Jennie Stephens became project manager and, in 2005, became executive director of the non-profit organization, which was established in response to the overwhelming need to provide free educational and direct legal services to low-income HP owners to help them obtain clear title and preserve their family land.


Our vision is to be nationally recognized as the most trusted and resourceful organization in providing effective education, legal services and sustainable land use options to help move low wealth landowners out of poverty.