Pro Bono Spotlight: McGuireWoods’ Connor Crews untangles title for heir property owner

Headshot of Connor H. Crews

We love our pro bono volunteers! Connor H. Crews, an associate in the Raleigh office of McGuireWoods and a volunteer with our Heir Property Pro Bono Project, recently helped one of our clients, a senior citizen and military veteran, untangle his home’s “tangled title.” 

“Heir property” refers to homes or land passed down informally, without a will. Legally speaking, ownership of such property is divided equally among all the surviving heirs of the original owner. This is true even if only one or some of the heirs live in or use the property. As a result, heir property is said to have “tangled title,” as the issue of ownership can be far from clear. 

This was the case with our client. His home was originally owned by his grandfather, who died without leaving a will. Therefore, in the eyes of the law, ownership of our client’s home was divided equally among the grandfather’s surviving heirs, even though only our client lived in it.

Connor got to work, researching the history of the home’s title and our client’s genealogical history. He concluded that no deed had been recorded on the property since the one granting ownership to his grandfather, and that our client and his siblings were the grandfather’s only surviving heirs.

Thankfully, the siblings readily agreed to grant their interests in the property to our client. Connor then prepared and filed the documents to transfer ownership to our client, thereby providing him with “clear title” — sole ownership of his home — and all the peace of mind that comes with it.

“Participating in the Heir Property Pro Bono Project was a great way to be of service to someone who needed assistance, and to learn something at the same time,” Connor said. “I was glad to help my client become the sole owner of his property, and I hope I made him feel more comfortable in his own home.”

He also had kind words for Nicole Mueller, head of the Heir Property Pro Bono Project. “I’d like to commend her for her responsiveness and attention to detail in assisting me in this matter. She promptly responded to my questions and gave me the direction that I needed.”

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