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4 Steps to Protect Inherited Family Land

If you have inherited land, you should follow the four steps below to protect your interests and prove ownership. If you can’t prove ownership of the land, selling the property will become extremely difficult.

1. Pay the taxes: Go to the tax assessor’s office in the county the property is located and be sure that all back and present taxes have been paid.

2. Prepare for the Future: Meet with an attorney and create a will or have a Transfer on Death Deed drawn up. These will help pass a clear title to your heirs.

3. Construct a Family Tree: Starting with the names on the deed of your land, lay out a family tree using legal documents, such as, birth certificates, marriage licenses, and obituaries. This effort will show a clear path to the current ownership.

4. Create a Paper Trail: Using the documents mentioned, make a paper trail from the original deed. Laws vary by state, so seek advice from your attorney as to what documents are acceptable and ask about the possibility to use affidavits to fill in holes of the chain to prove ownership.

SLA recommends that the family speak with a trusted attorney and discuss these topics to create a clear path to the present ownership. Ask if creating a family LLC or Land Trust are viable options to help protect your family land. SLA works with several reputable estate attorney’s that we would gladly recommend to assist you in protecting your families’ assets.

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