A land trust is a non profit conservation organization that protects nature areas, forest land, scenic views, recreational areas, historic structures, and cultural property. Land trusts work to permanently protect property by accepting donations of money, by purchasing or accepting donations of land, or by conservative easements.

What Does a Land Trust Do?

A land trust, generally organized as a charitable trust, protects nature areas, forest land, scenic views, recreational areas, historical structures, and cultural property. Land trusts protect land by:

  • Purchasing property
  • Accepting conservation easements which limit the future use of the land
  • Monitoring and enforcing conservation easements
  • Accepting charitable giving (gifts) or donations of money
  • Assisting in the transfer of lands to other local or state agencies for protection
  • Providing education and resources regarding land conservation
  • Improving community involvement

Benefits of a Land Trust

The land trust's non profit status brings the land trust a variety of tax benefits. Also, those who donate to a land trust also receive a number of tax benefits. Furthermore, land trusts are closely tied to the community. The land trust usually works closely with local, state, and federal government organizations and with the community when planning and acquiring property to conserve.

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Land Trust Issue?

Land trust laws and regulations are complex and vary by jurisdiction. A real estate attorney can properly identify and explain the law in your jurisdiction and can also help you negotiate the terms of the agreement with the land trust so that your interests are protected. A lawyer will also understand and explain all of the tax implications of your donation or sale to the land trust.