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ACTEC Releases Video Focused on Heirs Property and Generational Land Loss

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              ​      

Contact: Suzy Shaw, 202.688.0271

Washington, DC – October 4, 2021:  The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) today released a new video that examines Heirs Property and Generational Land Loss and potential solutions to the problem. “Heirs property” refers to the loss of land and real estate assets without a well-drafted will or no will at all. Heirs property primarily impacts black landowners, and continues to contribute to the racial economic wealth gap.

ACTEC Fellow Terrence M. Franklin moderates the discussion of heirs property with ACTEC Fellow David J. Dietrich and guest Thomas W. Mitchell, a 2020 MacArthur Fellow and professor at Texas A&M University School of Law. Dietrich and Mitchell are experts in heirs property and helped draft the Uniform Laws Commission’s Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA). The UPHPA is a groundbreaking act that addresses heirs property and has been enacted so far by nineteen states and been introduced in seven others.

Heirs Property and Generational Land Loss builds on the previous video in the Planning for a Diverse and Equitable Future video, Black Farmers, Land Loss and the Racial Economic Gap. This video, released on September 13, 2021, was the first of a two-part discussion on the role that intergenerational land loss plays in perpetuating and exacerbating the inequity between Blacks and whites in America.

Learn more about this topic by watching the Heirs Property and Generational Land Loss video. For further information about ACTEC’s Planning for a Diverse and Equitable Future series, please visit

About The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC): Established in 1949, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) is a national, nonprofit association of approximately 2,400 lawyers and law professors from throughout the United States and abroad. ACTEC members (Fellows) are peer-elected on the basis of professional reputation and expertise in the preparation of wills and trusts, estate planning, probate, trust administration and related practice areas. The College’s mission includes the improvement and reform of probate, trust and tax laws and procedures and professional practice standards. ACTEC frequently offers technical comments with regard to legislation and regulations but does not take positions on matters of policy or political objectives.

About The ACTEC Foundation The ACTEC Foundation is the philanthropic arm of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel or ACTEC. The Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) that offers education to families and professionals and supports students interested in the trust and estate area of the law. Through continued financial support, The ACTEC Foundation offers professional development, scholarships and education for a number of important efforts, including legal education, educational support, public initiatives, legal publications and the student editorial board.

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