Conservation Easements

Conservation easements can be a tool to include in your estate plan. Donation of a conservation easement can be one way to reduce federal and state estate taxes when your estate value minus permitted deductions exceeds the current estate tax exemptions (unified credits). Conservation easements will not be for everyone, something you should keep in mind.

It is important to remember to discuss with your estate planning professionals how an easement could work in your situation.

Resources Available:

Directory of Attorneys 

The Maryland State Bar Association's (MSBA) Section on Agriculture Law published a directory of members (current members as of June, 2015). This Directory includes a listing of attorneys, field of practices, and areas of the state currently practicing in.  

Fact Sheets 

Conservation Easements: A Useful Tool for Farm Transition and Estate Planning (FS-974) - by Dr. Lori Lynch and Paul Goeringer; Updated September 2016.

Taxes and Land Preservation: Computing the Capital Gains Tax (FS-780, 2014) - by Dr. Lori Lynch and Paul Goeringer.

Center for Ag and Natural Resource Policy Briefs

Do Agricultural Land Preservation Programs Reduce Overall Farmland Loss? (2012) - by Dr. Lori Lynch and Xiangping Liu

PDR Programs Affect Landowners’ Conversion Decision in Maryland (2012) - by Dr. Charles Towe, Dr. Nancy Bockstael, and Dr. Cynthia J. Nickerson