Forests are a precious resource in New Hampshire, where much of the state’s forestland is on privately-owned property. Environmental outcomes and quality of life all depend on the private actions of landowners. UNH Cooperative Extension is proud to be part of a new resource that provides landowners with practical information about preserving their land — and their legacy.
“Your Land, Your Legacy” is a comprehensive guide to estate planning for landowners. It includes practical information for landowners, including:
- How to involve family members in making decisions about land
- How to talk with family about estate planning issues
- Details on ownership categories such as limited partnerships and trusts
- Suggestions on permanent land use options such as conservation easements
- Information on tax considerations.
“We like to encourage people to care for their land while they’re still alive and to think about how they want their land to be cared for in the future,” says Karen Bennett, an Extension professor and specialist in forest resources and one of the guide’s authors. “Planning what will happen to your land when you’re gone is the next critical step of being a good steward.”
UNH Cooperative Extension staff and county foresters can connect landowners with the tools they need to map out their land’s future. However, Extension does not help landowners develop estate plans.
“Though estate planning is often a difficult issue for families to discuss, those conversations play a vital role in the health of New Hampshire’s forests,” Bennett adds. “Extension staff can connect landowners, when they’re ready, with the appropriate organizations and resources to begin the process.”
“Your Land, Your Legacy” is available online at extension.unh.edu/landowner-estate-planning. The website also includes additional resources and an order form to request a hard copy. “Your Land, Your Legacy” is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Franklin Land Trust.