Racial equity in home ownership and estate planning

Due to both historical abuses and present day lack of access to the legal system, Black Americans are significantly less likely than their white counterparts to have a will. Consequently, studies like this National Consumer Law Center report estimate that more than half the real property owned by Black Americans is owned as heirs property.

“Heirs property” describes a form of property ownership that arises when several heirs inherit a home but have not completed the probate process to clarify title. Over successive generations of unclear title, this can lead to dozens of heirs with an increasingly fractional ownership interest in a home. Without a registered deed or legal proof of ownership, heirs property owners are limited in their ability to manage their home.

Here is a report from the National Consumer Law Center.