Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Sun, Changyou

Committee Member

Grebner, Donald L.

Committee Member

Kim, Ayoung

Committee Member

McConnell, Thomas Eric

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Campus Access Only 1 Year

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forestry


Heirs' property is generated through the intergenerational transfer of a property to several co-owners when the original owner dies without a will. Such co-owners hold undivided fractional interest in the entire land but lack a clear title. Co-owners face several legal, financial, and technical constraints to manage the forestlands and often seek partition of the land. However, the legal environment and empirical assessment of partition actions on forestlands owned as heirs' property has not been examined. This thesis evaluates statutory laws relevant to forestland partition and the factors instrumental in adjudicating partition lawsuits. The findings reveal that partition lawsuits are primarily adjudicated using common law rather than statutory law. The magnitude of co-owners' fractional interest, the income withheld from forestlands, and the presence of absentee co-owners favor partition claimants. The study results have implications for heirs' property owners, legal entities and personnel, and policymakers.