Land Protection

Land Donation

Donating land to the Westford Conservation Trust, to another land trust, or to a public conservation agency, is an option to consider for permanent land protection. An added benefit is that the land will be managed and protected in perpetuity by a conservation organization that you’ve chosen. There are multiple ways to gift land. You should always consult tax and legal professionals when evaluating land donation options. After consulting the appropriate professionals, inquiries about donating land to Westford Conservation Trust should be sent to:

Ron Gemma, President
Westford Conservation Trust
P.O. Box 255
Westford, MA 01886

OUTRIGHT GIFT OF LAND:

You may wish to donate land for one or more of the following reasons: 1) you would like to see the property protected in perpetuity; 2) you own a property that has had a high appreciation in value; 3) you wish to reduce your real estate tax burden; 4) your property is no longer used or wanted; and 5) your property is considered unbuildable and has conservation value.

Advantages

  • Permanent protection of open space
  • The fair market value of the property is generally tax-deductible
  • The real estate tax burden is eliminated
  • The size of the estate is reduced, thereby reducing future state and federal tax consequences

DONATION OF LAND BY BEQUEST:

You can opt to bequest land in your will to a land conservation organization.

Advantages

  • Allows the landowner enjoyment of their property during their lifetime
  • If during a landowner’s lifetime circumstances change, the will can be re-written
  • Removes the property from the estate which reduces the tax burden for the heirs

RESERVED LIFE ESTATE

You can donate land to a conservation organization but continue to use the property until your death. The longer the period of expected use, the lower the value of the gift for tax purposes.

Advantages

  • A charitable deduction is derived from the donation depending on the landowners life expectancy
  • The landowner continues to enjoy their use of the property

*permission to use this info courtesy of Littleton Conservation Trust

Other Resources

MASS LAND TRUST COALITION – Landowner Information Library on Conserving Land

LAND TRUST ALLIANCE – Conserve Your Land