Who is an Heir?

The Mystery of…Et al?

Who is – “Et al?”  The phrase “Et al” often appears on tax bills and other documents describing the ownership of  land. “Et al” is a term counties use to show that a property is owned by more than one person, as is often the case with heirs’ property.  Each county is different, however, and each piece of heirs’ property has its own legal history.

Who is an Heir?

An heir is anyone related “by blood” to the person, whose name is on the deed to the property, and those persons related to him/her by law or birth, including:

  • A Spouse by legal marriage
  • A Spouse by “common law” – providing they have lived together and presented themselves openly to the community/public as husband and wife
  • A Spouse who is separated but not legally divorced
  • Children by birth
  • Children by legal adoption
  • Outside children
  • Children of a separated but not divorced spouse  (There is no such thing as “common law ” divorce!)

Who is NOT an Heir?

  • “Raised” children (not legally adopted)
  • Legally divorced spouses
Ercelle was one of seven heirs owning seven acres of land together. Now, she has a clear title to her own acre and plants a summer and winter garden on it every year.

Ercelle was one of seven heirs owning seven acres of land together. Now, she has a clear title to her own acre and plants a summer and winter garden on it every year.

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