The Livingston Land Conservancy
P.O. Box 236
Brighton, MI 48116-0236
Farmers & Landowners
The Livingston Land Conservancy is one of the nation's 1,200-plus land trusts -- non-profit organizations that are independent of government and work hand-in-hand with landowners who choose to conserve their lands. We work to achieve our protection goals through land acquisition, conservation easements, education, and working with local government:
What is a conservation easement?
A conservation easement is conveyed to a government agency or nonprofit conservation organization qualified to hold and enforce easements. Most conservation easements are perpetual. They apply to the current owner and all future landowners, permanently protecting the property.
Each conservation easement is unique, specifically tailored to the particular land being protected as well as to the particular situation of the landowner.
Click here to download a copy of the Michigan Model Easement (126 K).
What types of land can be protected through conservation easements?
What are the effects of a conservation easement on a landowner's property rights?
What are the benefits of a conservation easement?
Living Legacy--Conservation easements give landowners peace of mind, knowing that their commitment to protecting their "special places" will be forever respected and remain an enduring legacy for their family and their community.
Common Good--Conservation easements allow landowners to contribute to local communities and to the state by protecting the land and water resources that provide us with our cherished quality of life.
Financial Benefits--Conservation easements may reduce a landowner's tax obligations in a number of ways:
The rules governing all of these potential tax savings are complex and require the advice of professional advisors.
New Estate Tax Benefits for Conservation Easement Donors
The new law is of greatest benefit to those who inherit valuable land during the next nine years, when estate taxes will continue. Those individuals can use 2031(c) to make a postmortem election to donate a conservation easement, which could save them considerable estate taxes.
If a person wants to conserve their family's land, they should donate a conservation easement on it, and do it while they are alive. They can receive a substantial income tax deduction, the value of the donated easement (which you do not get if it is donated in a will or post-mortem); they will have done the right thing; and if there is an estate tax when they die, their heirs will also be glad they did.
The tax law provisions are complicated and we advise that you consult a knowledgeable estate planner or tax attorney. For additional information please contact the Conservancy.