Photo of Miles Malbrough

Miles Malbrough

  • Hosted by Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands
  • Sponsored by Albert & Anne Mansfield Foundation
  • Service location Nashville, Tennessee
  • Law school Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Issue area Community/Economic Development, Economic Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Miles’ (he/him/his) project focuses on minimizing the crippling effects of heirs’ property on intergenerational wealth building in Middle Tennessee’s Black communities through free estate planning services, representation in partition litigation, and community education.

Miles’s project uses estate planning to help narrow the Black-white wealth gap in Middle Tennessee. Homeownership is the primary method of wealth-building in the United States, but Black Americans own homes at lower rates than other racial groups, and their homes are disproportionately held in heirs’ property. Heirs’ property is a form of joint ownership created when property owners die without an estate plan, which minimizes the owners’ home equity and makes their property vulnerable to a forced sale. Miles’s project will help community members prevent heirs’ property, maximize equity, and advocate for procedural rights in actions to force sale.

Miles was raised in Sumner County, Tennessee where many of his neighbors and family members own heirs’ property. His firsthand familiarity with the vulnerabilities of heirs’ property ownership has motivated him to pursue community-based legal work to minimize its harmful effects on families’ capacity to build intergenerational wealth.

Fellowship Plans

To promote understanding of how heirs’ property ownership diminishes wealth, Miles will conduct community education clinics throughout Middle Tennessee’s Black communities. By providing free estate planning services to (non-heirs) property owners, Miles will also help prevent the promulgation of heirs’ property and help Black property owners begin a legacy of estate planning in their families. For families that own heirs’ property, Miles will facilitate succession plans and advocate for robust procedural rights during partition litigation.

Media

Miles Malbrough ’22 To Address Estate Planning in Nashville’s Black Community as Equal Justice Works Fellow

The racial wealth gap undergirds countless racial inequities in the United States. I am thrilled at the opportunity to help Black communities build wealth through better access to legal services.

Miles Malbrough /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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