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About two dozen members of the rural Ritter community attended an heirs property and forest management seminar on Monday, with the property owners getting information on how to protect their property for future generations.
The seminar was hosted by the Center for Heris’ Property Preservation.
At Monday’s meeting, the center’s attorney, Hope Watson, told those who attended the meeting about their property rights, responsibilities and the risks of owning heirs property. She also discussed the legal steps that need to be taken to resolve ongoing heirs property issues in the greater Lowcountry region.
The center itself is focused on much of the Lowcountry, including heirs property in Colleton County. David Bourgeois, a forester with the center, also spoke on Monday. He told those in attendance how to manage their land for forestry, and gave information on services that the center can provide them.
“The combined services are helping families keep their family land and make the land ‘work for them,’” said Tish Lynn, a resource director with the center. “We want people to be able to pass (the land) down to the next generation as a welath0bulding asset,” she said, “which was what their ancestors had intended it to be.”
According to Watson, Monday’s turnout for the Ritter seminar was “good.” She added that many people there asked a lot of questions related to the heirs property battle. “Now we are just waiting for the calls to come in from those who expressed interest in scheduling an appointment with one of our attorneys to talk about their particular family land situation,” said Lynn. Watson also said she is “pleased” that several people from the Ritter community agreed to host one of the cetner’s free Wills Clinics. These clinics are generally held on a Saturday, and give the community members sample wills. These wills will help prevent the growth of their heirs property, said Lynn.
For more information, go to the center’s Web site at www.heirspoprerty.org.
During the 2015-16 year, the center has been serving six area counties, including Colleton, Charleston, Berkeley, Beaufort, Dorchester and Georgetown. The center is expanding its services this year to serve Allendale, Bamberg, Hampton, Clarendon, Orangeburg, Sumter and Williamsburg, as well.