Building generational wealth through property rights

Georgia Appleseed’s Heir Property Project (2008-2016) generated policy reforms and a new nonprofit law firm that protect billions of dollars in community and family assets across Georgia, particularly in low-income Black communities. “Heir property” refers to inherited home or land ownership that lacks a designated owner, resulting in shared ownership among living descendants. This prevents intergenerational wealth accumulation and community revitalization efforts. The USDA Forest Service estimates that 19% of land parcels in five Georgia counties are classified as heirs property.

Georgia Appleseed’s Unlocking Heir Property Ownership report outlines the history of the project and its successes and challenges. Over the project’s history, Georgia Appleseed successfully advocated for Georgia’s 2012 adoption of the Uniform Partition Heir Property Act (HB 744) that increased protections for landowners in poor communities. Georgia Appleseed also founded the now independent Heirs Property Law Center to provide free legal services to families seeking assistance. 



Prepared in 2013, the report is an assessment on the impact on low and mid-income Georgians and their communities