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If you have land that provides sanctuary for wild animals, and would like to see your land remain a forever home for wildlife, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust can help. The following sections explore each of the options for protecting your land.

1) DONATING A CONSERVATION EASEMENT - If you want to retain ownership of your land, but arrange for its permanent protection now, you can do so by donating a conservation easement to the Trust. All Trust conservation easements prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping, and development within protected areas. You continue to own your land, while we permanently enforce the agreed-upon prohibitions specified in the conservation easement. A gift of a conservation easement to the Trust also may provide you and your estate with significant tax deductions. More...

2) DONATING LAND - You may wish to give your land to our Trust outright. When title to sanctuary land is transferred to us, we become responsible for its permanent protection. You can do this during your lifetime or arrange to have it done at your death. If done during your lifetime, you and your estate may qualify for significant tax deductions. If done at your death (through your will), a reduced but still significant estate tax deduction may accrue to your estate. More...

3) DONATING LAND WITH A RETAINED LIFE ESTATE - You also can transfer your property to us now, while continuing to live on it for the rest of your life. This retained life estate arrangement also may provide both you and your estate with significant tax deductions. More...

Saving Sanctuary Land Now or Later -- Your Decision

It's now up to you! Ask us to permanently protect your land by giving title to the Trust or to accept and hold a conservation easement on it. You can do this now or later in your will or through your living trust.

In either case, we will first undertake a careful examination of the property to determine its sanctuary potential. We will then either assist you in preparing a conservation easement agreement that reflects your wishes and our mission, or should you wish to donate title to your property assist you throughout the transfer of title process. You are under no obligation during this review and preparation process should you change your mind.

In electing any of these choices, you will either permanently preserve your land's value as a home for wildlife or allow us to sell or trade it in order to acquire other land with more suitable sanctuary characteristics. If you do this now, you may achieve significant tax savings. If you do this later, perhaps through your will, your estate may benefit from estate tax savings.

We hope you will contact us to assist you in saving your land for the benefit of future generations of humans and wildlife.

About Our Examples

These land protection examples are for illustrative purposes only. All examples assume that you itemize your deductions on your income tax return. Where applicable, deduction and income calculations were made with a gift date of January 1, 2016 -- when the federal discount rate was 2.2 percent and the maximum federal capital gains tax rate was 20 percent. We assumed the donor’s age was 72. The benefits to you from any gift you make will vary, depending on factors such as your age, the actual date of your gift, income tax rates, the applicability of the alternative minimum tax, applicable state taxes, and charitable deduction percentage limitations.

The staff members of the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or tax advisory services. For your own case, you should obtain the advice or assistance of your own attorney or other qualified advisor before making a gift to any charity. We are available to discuss any of the giving methods presented in this overview with you and welcome the opportunity to discuss them with your advisors. Please note that the Trust will not knowingly participate in a project if it has significant concerns about the tax deduction to be claimed by the donor or where we believe our participation presents a reputational risk to the Trust.


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