Ensuring Your Legacy

Your land is part of your legacy. As a good steward of your land, it is important to plan what will happen to your land after you are gone. In fact, planning for your land may be the most important action you can take as a landowner—for the benefit of your family, your community, the land itself, and your personal goals. Who will own your land, and how will it be used? What will your legacy be? 

Why plan?

An estate is the total of all your assets, including your land, house, bank accounts, and any stocks and bonds. An estate plan ensures that your assets are distributed in a way that will meet the financial and personal needs of you and your heirs. 

Land is not like other assets: it may have significant personal value not typically associated with other assets, such as stocks and bonds. When dividing assets among family members, it can be challenging to account for their personal as well as financial needs.

The good news is that land is a flexible asset that lends itself to creative solutions for your goals and values whether or not you intend to keep it in the family. This planning process takes time, and the earlier you start your planning process, the more options you will have for your land. Three great ways to start are:

Defining your goals

Deciding if you want to determine the future ownership of your land

Deciding if you want to determine the future use of your land

For more information and hard copies of these resources, please contact Emma Sass at the UVM Forestry Program: emma.sass@uvm.edu