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Retain family land and protect rights

An upcoming workshop on Heirs Property and Estate Planning will be held at the George Henry White Memorial Health and Education Center, as part of an ongoing "Landowners Lunch and Learn" series. The presenter is the highly-experienced attorney and advocate, Dãnia Davy.

Heirs property, or family land, occurs when a landowner passes away without an estate plan. Recent estimates suggest that over $20B of real estate value is owned by heirs who do not have clear title to their family land. As a result, they are often unable to manage and maintain the property leading to significant rates of land loss among heir property landowners.

In this workshop, which will take place from 11 to 1 on Wednesday, April 12 at the GHW Center, we will explore what heirs property is, how it affects the families and communities it is in, the importance of estate planning to prevent creating heirs property, and resources, including the Heir Property Relending Program, that are available to help families clear title and enjoy the full benefit of their family wealth.

Dãnia Davy serves as Director of Land Retention and Advocacy at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, the largest and oldest cooperatively-owned organization whose membership includes black farmers, landowners and cooperatives. After earning a Bachelors degree in with dual concentration (Community Health and Africana Studies) at Brown University, she earned her J.D. at University of Virginia School of Law.

As a Skadden Fellow at the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers’ Land Loss Prevention Project, she designed and implemented community education and estate planning services

to improve Black farmers and heir property landowners' access to legal services in the rural South. ​She developed the documentary, Our Land, Our Lives: The North Carolina Black Farmers' Experience, and served on the inaugural North Carolina Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council.

Dãnia directs the Federation’s Regional Heirs Property & Mediation Center, manages the State Agricultural Mediation Programs (in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Georgia, and Louisiana), leads the Heir Property Relending Program Technical Assistance and Outreach Project, hosts the Federation Conversation Podcast, supervises the Federation Fellowship and Summer Law Student Internship, and leads the Federation’s Advocacy Institute. Dãnia currently serves on the boards of the Farmers Legal Action Group and Southern Rural Development Center.

Registration is free but necessary to ensure seating and food preparation. Register by calling

the George Henry White Center, between 9 and 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 to 1 p.m. on Fridays. (910-445-0269). This is first come, first served. Programs are open to all.

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