Depending on the characteristics of your property and your needs as a landowner, a donated?easement may be the best tool to protect your property. Donated easements are generally easier to execute than purchased easements and still bring some financial benefits.
When you donate an easement on your farm property, certain rights and restrictions of a property are given, free of compensation, to a separate entity (usually a non-profit land trust). Landowners donate an easement to ensure that their land will continue to be available for farming far into the future. However, donated easements also come with some financial incentives.
Your donation of an easement can count as a charitable contribution that can be deducted from your taxable income. Other financial benefits of donating an easement can result from avoiding capital gains or estate taxes, and (in some instances) reduced property taxes. In some cases, protecting farmland can also add value to abutting properties, as well as the land itself.
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