Add an Easement, Reduce Taxes
If you own a large piece of property, especially one untouched by much development, you might consider a conservation easement as part of your estate planning. Conservation easements are a way of keeping property in the family while potentially reducing the tax burden of passing that land from generation to generation.
When you create a conservation easement on your property, you are reducing the value of the land. You are handing over development rights to a public or non-profit organization. Because you or future owners can no longer subdivide or redevelop the land, its value decreases.
The public agency or non-profit organization that holds the development rights through the easement doesn’t own the land. You still own the land. And you can even sell the land. However, because there are significant restrictions on the land, the property value generally decreases significantly. With a decrease in property value comes a decrease in risk for estate taxes as you and further generations pass the land along to the subsequent heirs.
Conservation easements are a great option for those concerned about the effects of a deteriorating environment and encroaching development on a family’s property. Consult with an estate lawyer to see how this unique estate planning option could help preserve wild lands for your future generations.