The story on this week's front page about the dilemma over the dilapidated building in Reader brings to light an increasing problem in West Virginia. No, it's not the problem of broken down and unsightly buildings--even though that is a very real issue--it is the problem of properties being tied up in heirships.
From our perspective, West Virginia has a particularly nagging problem with this as its residents, and former residents, have very strong emotional ties to their families' homesteads. However, many of the descendants have moved away and no longer take care of this so-called "beloved" property. Fond memories live on in the mind and in scrapbooks, not in rotten, uncared for pieces of wood.
We only wish those who are involved in these types of situations would come to this realization and either care for their property or sell it to someone who will.
It may be too late for some heirships such as the Cochran house where the responsible parties are either unknown or incompetent, but as the saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
If you are involved in an heirship that has the potential of becoming another Cochran house, please take care of the legal issues now before it's too late.