Estate Planning

Landowner Spotlight: Tracy Markham and Denise Niemitz

In 2006, Tracy Markham and Denise Niemitz fulfilled their dream of living in nature on their own land when they purchased their 40-acre wooded property in Hardwick. When they first bought the property, they didn’t know what was even possible in terms of forest management. As the years went by, Tracy and Denise’s dreams for their property grew and they considered how they could use their land more fully.

Are Due Diligence Costs Preventing You from Reaching Your Conservation Goals?

Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust is here to help by administering the grant application process for the Commonwealth’s new Working Forests Initiative Due Diligence Grant Program. This program provides financial assistance to qualified forest landowners who permanently protect their land, and who donate land or conservation restriction (CR) value. This Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (MA DCR) Program covers costs associated with appraisals, title exams, surveys, closing costs, and environmental site assessments.

Passing it on: using a trust and timber harvesting to maintain a family property

Keeping land in the family is a common goal for many landowners, but how do you actually pay for the long-term ownership and maintenance costs associated with the land?

The Thompson family has found a solution that works for them and their family retreat on 45 acres of woodlands in Leverett. Now owned by the fourth generation, the property is the site of the family’s 4th of July reunion, annual work parties, and lots of family vacations.

Family Lands, Family Conversations

In the course of making a decision about the future of your land, working with family members to get clarity on their wishes for the land can be a critical step in the process.  Holding a family meeting can be an effective way of communicating differing objectives and reaching consensus, but they can also be fraught with emotions and difficult family dynamics.  

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