Giving your land to Eastern Sierra Land Trust is among the most generous legacies you can leave to future generations. You’ll be supporting local conservation and making a world of difference, right here in the Eastern Sierra.
There are also significant tax benefits to donating your property. A donation of land may qualify you for income, estate, or property tax savings for yourself and your heirs – and together, these incentives can be substantial. Donating land gives you an income tax deduction for the land’s fair-market value; avoids capital gains taxes; and removes the property from your taxable estate.
Donating Land that has Conservation Value
If your property has significant conservation value (such as a working ranch or habitat for wildlife), your donation will help protect it for the future. In these cases, we may place a conservation easement on the property to preserve what makes it unique, and then resell it. The proceeds we receive from selling donated land are used to build our endowment, conserve additional land, and support our stewardship programs.
Depending on the property, ESLT may also choose to retain ownership. If the land has important public benefit, we may give it to a nonprofit or government entity so that our community can enjoy it, long into the future.
Donating Other Types of Real Estate
We will gratefully accept gifts of other types of real estate, such as small parcels, homes, commercial buildings, and vacant land. However, we don’t accept all gifts of real estate. We have developed criteria for accepting land gifts to ensure that costs (including a title search, legal fees, and property taxes) do not consume the proceeds from an eventual sale of the property, leaving nothing for conservation. Most often, we will sell donated real estate and then use the proceeds to build our endowment, conserve land, or fund a particular program.
Want to Donate Land, but Continue to Live on it?
Some landowners wish to donate their land but want to reserve the right for themselves (and sometimes others) to use and enjoy the property during their lifetimes. This is known as a gift of land with a reserved life-estate. This type of land gift allows donors to take advantage of an immediate income tax deduction and ensures that ESLT will automatically receive the land upon the donor’s death, without the delay and expense of probate.
Want to Learn More?
If you would like to learn more about donating real estate to Eastern Sierra Land Trust, please contact us online or call us directly at (760) 873-4554. We also recommend that you consult with your attorney and tax advisor.