Deciding Which Option is Right for You
The Conservancy provides an opportunity for you to leave a legacy of unspoiled land and water resources through a variety of voluntary conservation options. This flowchart will aid you in deciding which option best suits your land protection interests. It is important to talk with your legal or financial advisor before making any decisions regarding your property; these are some ideas you might want to discuss with them. We are available to you and your advisors to answer any questions or help arrange a planned gift to the Conservancy.
An easement is a voluntary and permanent option that legally places restrictions on your land. Each easement is designed to reflect your individual needs and wishes for your land. You retain the right to own and sell your property but the easement restrictions will always remain with the property, attached to the land title. Most conservation easements are donated by the landowner to the Conservancy, and such donations can provide significant tax advantages. Go to the Spring 2008 newsletter (PDF 282k) for an article on donated conservation easements.
This option may be best suited for you if do not wish to leave your land to heirs, no longer use the land, or want to be relieved of management responsibilities. It is important to contact the Conservancy before making this decision. Donations can include all or just a portion of your property. Go to the Spring 2007 newsletter (PDF 584k) for an article on a donation of land.
It is possible to donate a property now and retain the right to live on and use the property during your lifetime. This is known as a “reserved life estate.”
A bargain sale is the sale of a property or a conservation easement to the Conservancy at a price well below the fair market value of the property or conservation easement. The difference between the bargain sale price and fair market value is considered a charitable contribution from the landowner to the Conservancy, and therefore provides potential income and estate tax deductions for the landowner.
A bequest is also called a “donation by devise” and transfers ownership of your property to the Conservancy through your will. Simply name the Driftless Area Land Conservancy, Inc. in your will or trust documents. This is a great choice if compensation is not a necessity and you do not want to limit the current use of your land.
Take Your First Step
If you are interested in personal land protection opportunities provided by the Driftless Area Land Conservancy, please complete and return the Property Description Worksheet. Completing and returning this form does not represent a commitment by either party, it only helps us both to understand and more clearly explore your land protection goals. If you wish to help protect other landsí in the region, please consider a donation or volunteering your time.