Idaho Falls Conservation Easement Attorneys
What is Conservation Easement?
A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement a homeowner can make with a government agency or qualified nonprofit that restricts the types of development that can take place on their property in the years to come. In addition to preserving the long-term environmental health of the property, these agreements can offer a variety of financial advantages to the homeowner.
At Freedom Law, we are extremely well-versed in matters of real estate. Our Idaho Falls conservation easement lawyers have over 15 years of experience and are ready to offer dedicated legal support. If you considering a conservation easement, we can negotiate the terms, walk you through what the agreement can accomplish, and complete all legal formalities. Our firm frequently handles these cases and can help you make the most of this unique opportunity.
Schedule a free initial consultation with our conservation easement attorneys by calling (208) 271-4403 or contacting us online. We offer flexible payment options and provide our legal services in English and Spanish.
How Do Conservation Easements Work?
Only government agencies and qualified nonprofit land trusts can implement a conservation easement with a landowner. Each conservation easement is different, with the specifics customized to suit each party’s preferences and goals.
When a landowner agrees to a conservation easement, they retain control of their private property – within certain limits. The conservation easement will include certain restrictions on what can no longer be done on the land. For example, say a landowner owns a large swath of land that includes a small residence as well as untouched natural environments. The conservation easement may forbid the natural environments from ever being developed, but the landowner will still be able to live in their residence. These terms can be negotiated.
Once an agreement has been reached, the conservation easement becomes part of the property’s deed. In most cases, the easement is perpetual, meaning it cannot be removed or reversed.
Keep in mind that not all properties will necessarily qualify for a conservation easement. The land must offer some significant natural resource that will be protected through the agreement. Our Idaho Falls conservation easement attorneys can evaluate your property and advise whether its attributes are likely to attract the interest of a nonprofit or the government.
Benefits of a Conservation Easement
Many landowners are concerned about their long-term impact on the environment and are committed to preventing unwanted or damaging development in the future. A conservation easement readily accomplishes these objectives, guaranteeing the property cannot be used in ways prohibited by the agreement.
A conservation easement also offers several financial and estate planning advantages, including:
- A Personal Income Tax Deduction. The conservation easement is considered a “gift” under the law, meaning you may be able to a federal tax income deduction commensurate to the value of the gift.
- Lower Property Value. This may sound like a disadvantage, but there are certain situations where a landowner might be seeking to intentionally lower their property’s value. A conservation easement reduces the value of the property it encumbers because future buyers will still be bound by the agreement’s restrictions. Landowners with large estates may be subject to federal estate taxes. Property value is part of a person’s taxable estate, so by lowering it, the landowner may be able to avoid or reduce the impact of estate taxes when they pass away. This can prevent a situation where a landowner’s descendants are forced to sell a property to pay an overwhelming estate tax bill.
- Lower Property Taxes. Because the conservation easement will reduce a property’s value, the landowner may enjoy lower property tax obligations on the encumbered property.
Conservation easements are not right for every situation. You should not use them if you do not want to lower your property value or suspect a permanent encumbrance could jeopardize the financial circumstances of your heirs. Our Idaho Falls conservation easement lawyers at Freedom Law can review the broad advantages and disadvantages of these agreements and provide tailored guidance on how entering one may specifically impact you.
Have questions about conservation easements? Call (208) 271-4403 or contact us online to discuss your concerns with our team of conservation easement lawyers.
We Can Help You
Do I Need Title Insurance When Buying a Home in Idaho or Montana?
It is generally a smart idea to get title insurance even if you perform a thorough title search on the property you are intending to purchase. Title insurance can offer financial security if an unexpected title issue arises down the road.
What Are the Advantages of a Conservation Easement?
Beyond environmental mindfulness, a conservation easement can provide considerable tax and estate planning benefits. Because conservation easements cannot typically be undone, they lower a property’s value, thus lowering the property owner’s overall taxable estate. The property owner may also be able to deduct the value of the conservation easement on their personal tax return.
What Is a Conservation Easement in Idaho or Montana?
A conservation easement is a type of voluntary agreement made between a property owner and either a qualifying nonprofit or a government agency. When a property owner decides to establish a conservation easement, they agree to permanently limit the types of development that can occur on that property. For example, a conservation easement on a property with a forest teeming with natural resources may mandate that the forest never be torn down or developed. A conservation easement becomes part of the property’s deed.