Planning and Gathering Information
The first step for any landowner is to engage in some planning and information gathering. A good place to start is your local land trust
, which should have information to send you on different options for selling or donating a conservation easement.
Often, many different family members will have an interest in the property, and one or more family meetings might be useful. Some families have found it useful to hire the services of a mediator or a facilitator to help the group reach a decision. It is difficult to convey an easement if everyone does not agree on how to proceed.
Another part of the planning process may involve meeting with an adviser, such as an attorney who has experience in conservation transactions. This adviser can help you figure out how donating or selling an easement fits with your overall estate planning, financial planning, or retirement goals. Although it is recommended that landowners meet with an attorney early in the process, so as to more fully understand his or her options, some choose to hire an attorney near the end of the deal, to perform a review of the easement. Either way, it is useful and usually less expensive to hire someone who is experienced with easements.