Are You Interested In Protecting Your Land?
The Benefits of Conservation Easements
Several Bridgewater landowners have opted to protect their land through a conservation easement, also known as a conservation restriction. This restriction allows the landowner to sell or donate rights to develop their land. Landowners retain ownership of the land, but give away the right to develop the land in the future so that its natural beauty and functions are preserved. There can be significant tax benefits with this restriction, as well as the reassurance that your land will remain protected forever.
One of our conservation easement partners Elaine and Tom Presby, explain how this process worked for them:
“When we first bought our home on Keeler Road in 1997, we were fortunate in that it came with an extra 50 acres of woods and equestrian trails. We knew from the outset that we would be unwilling to either subdivide or develop this beautiful extra space. Accordingly, one of our trusted advisors suggested that we consider a conservation easement, which would ensure that this property would never be developed; enhance the value of all our neighbors’ homes; and, if done well, provide us with an income tax deduction as a charitable contribution. Our advisors insisted that we handle the transaction in a very rigorous manner. This meant: Two reputable appraisers; first class surveyors and appropriate income tax advice. He also made sure that the easement negotiated with the Bridgewater Land Trust protected our interests while still qualifying as an irrevocable gift. We followed his advice and received the material benefits and goodwill that drove us to do the transaction in the first place. It was a pleasure dealing with the Land Trust: the representatives were straightforward and reasonable in every respect. If we had it to do all over again, we absolutely would do so. We would also be happy to share our experience in detail with any Bridgewater resident considering an easement.”
The steps required to protect your land through a conservation easement are outlined on our website: www.bridgewaterlandtrust.org/give-land/conservation-easements/. If you have questions or want to learn more, please contact us.