Myths and Truths – Heirs’ Property

There is a lot of misunderstanding about heirs’ property.   Having the wrong information might cause you to make the wrong decision about your land. Call the Center (843-745-7055) to schedule a free, one-hour “Advice and Counsel” session with the Center’s attorney to better understand the risks, responsibilities and rights of owning heirs’ property.

Here are some common “Myths and Truths” about heirs’ property ownership:

MYTH: Heirs’ property is the best way to own and maintain family land.

TRUTH: NO…Owning land as heirs in common is unstable and puts the property at a high risk of being lost by the family. Any person who inherits or purchases an interest in the property has the right to force a sale of the entire property in court.

MYTH: Physically living on the land gives an heir greater rights to the use and ownership of the land than those held by absent heirs.

TRUTH: NO….Heirs who don’t live on the land or don’t help to maintain the property have the same rights as heirs who live on the land and keep it up.

MYTH:  Payment of property taxes and other assessments entitles that person to more complete ownership.

TRUTH: NO…. Payment of taxes does not increase an heir’s percentage of ownership.  Heirs who do not contribute to tax payments do not lose any rights to ownership.

MYTH:  All living descendants are entitled to equal shares of a tract of heirs’ property.

TRUTH: NO…. A descendant’s share depends on the number of heirs in each preceding generation.

MYTH:  A land survey provides proof of ownership.
TRUTH: NO…. A survey cannot grant ownership of the land to any heir.  Ownership of any real property can only be transferred by a duly-recorded deed.