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Land Donations

If you are a landowner whose property has significant conservation or agricultural value, could provide an important wildlife corridor, or connects to already protected land, we can help you protect it for generations to enjoy forever!

If you are interested in hearing more about the benefits of selling or donating a conservation easement to the Conservancy; please do not hesitate to contact us. All inquiries are confidential and without obligation. Call 925 449-8706 or email info@trivalleyconservancy.org.

Outright Donation

Donations by will or with a reserved life estate may be preferred if the organization or agency receiving the land would like to own the property but does not wish to accept the responsibilities of immediate ownership.

Giving the land to a nonprofit conservation organization or to a government agency is the simplest way to protect your land. No financing or negotiations about price are necessary. However, you must obtain approval from the agency or organization to which you intend to donate prior to deeding the land to them. Once the land is under the protection of a land conservation agency, its long-term preservation should be guaranteed. You also may receive tax benefits in the form of federal income tax deductions, potential estate tax benefits, and relief from property taxes.

If you wish to donate land but do not want to give up the use of it immediately, you have two options to choose from 1) donation by will or 2) donation with a reserved life estate.

Donation by Will

A gift of land may be made through a will entitling you to retain full use of the land during your lifetime. Discussing the gift with the government agency or private conservation organization prior to inclusion of the donation in your will allows you to develop a plan for the future care of your land. You will retain full control over your land during your lifetime, and you are assured that it will be cared for when you are gone. Removing the land from your estate reduces the estate or inheritance taxes. However, you will still be responsible for paying real estate and income taxes for the entire property during your lifetime.

Donation with a Reserved Life Estate

To avoid paying real estate and income taxes for the full property during your lifetime, you might consider a donation with a reserved life estate. With this option, you donate the property to a government or conservation agency, while you and the other members of your family retain the use of all or part of the land during your lifetime or their lifetimes. A reserved life estate ensures that your land is accepted by someone suitable to you and is protected in perpetuity, yet you may continue to reside on it.

If the donated land qualifies for treatment as a charitable deduction, you may take an income tax deduction for the value of what was actually given up. This value, and hence your deduction, is determined by the Internal Revenue Service actuarial tables based on the life expectancies of those who have a reserved life interest in the property. This deduction would not include the value of the retained life estate. The tax advantages with a retained life estate are less than those advantages with an outright donation, but greater than those with a donation by will.

If you are considering donating land to Tri-Valley Conservancy to be preserved for future generations to enjoy forever please contact us to learn more at (925) 449-8706 or info@TriValleyConservancy.org.