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New Bill To Keep Heirs' Property In Family Hands

Man in suit and tie stands at a podium. A woman in a blazer stands next to him.
Robbie Gaffney

Florida Democratic lawmakers are pushing a bill to help owners of heir property keep their land. 

When someone dies without a will, their land can be inherited by their children, who become heirs. The property can be passed down through generations, but if an heir wants to sell, Attorney Jami Coleman says it can get complicated.

“We go before a judge, commissioners, and the court says okay well we can’t split this property where you get 1/25th and I get 1/5th and we can’t do that. So we got to put this property up on the courthouse steps."

Coleman says heirs who want to keep the property, might have to buy the land back.

“And for my clients that doesn’t make any sense, like how is it that my great-grandparents owned this property and I got to buy it back in order to keep it?” 

However, a new bill by Rep. Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee) could help families. Under Bracy’s proposal, families get the right to buy a share before it can be sold to somebody else. The Florida Senate is moving forward with the proposal. It has two committee stops to go. A companion bill in the house is backed by Sen. Lorrane Ausley (D-Tallahassee).

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.