June 19, 2019
By: Alan Kolod
The Commercial and Uniform State Laws Committee, the Housing and Urban Development Committee and the Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee issued a report supporting The Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (“UPHPA”) along with several necessary modifications. The UPHPA helps preserve family wealth held as real property. If a landowner dies intestate, real estate passes to the landowner’s heirs as tenants-in-common under state law. Tenants-in-common are vulnerable because any individual tenant can force a partition. Too often, real estate speculators acquire a share of heirs’ property in order to file a partition action and force a sale. Using this tactic, an investor can acquire the entire parcel for a price well below its fair market value and deplete a family’s inherited wealth in the process. The UPHPA codifies the process of defining a piece of property as “heir’s property” as well as the process by which such property is partitioned and, in the event of a sale, sold, all in an effort to protect tenants from predatory practices. The committees support modifications that would make the Act, which was drafted primarily with rural areas in mind, better apply to urban property where partition-of-heirs problems are also prevalent. choice of law. The Report, which was published on March 17, 2021, is available here.