Legacy Planning

Many Tree Farmers would like to pass their woods to their children or other heirs. Transferring land from one generation to another is challenging and complex with many legal and family issues to discuss and resolve. Landowners should seek legal advice regarding wills, trusts, and other estate planning mechanisms to transfer land. Parents should talk with their children to communicate their desires for their land while they are still alive. Landowners should also include their children on the list of owners of their Tree Farm so the Tree Farm Committee can recognize generational transfer and multi-generation Tree Farms.

Ties to the Land is a program developed at Oregon State University to help forest landowners do succession planning and discuss their plans with family members.

Conservation easements are another tool to help landowners ensure that their forest management goals are carried into future generations. Conservation easements are voluntary agreements by landowners to give up certain rights, like parcelization, land-use change, or development. Landowners with easements should inform their forester to develop a plan that coordinates and complies with their conservation easement. Landowners should also make sure any timber sale contract with a logger complies with the requirements of their easement. Landowners may have to inform their land conservancy about forest management activities before they occur.