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2013-07-18

Workshop helps protect land, receive tax incentives

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A workshop exploring how families can legally protect and preserve the legacy of their land - and be eligible for tax relief at the same time - will be held at 6 pm, Wednesday, July 31, at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm auditorium.
Thomas Hall, estate planning attorney with Braun & Gresham, PLLC, of Austin, will present "Estate Planning in the Hill Country: What Every Landowner Needs to Know." The workshop is sponsored by the Cibolo Conservancy, a nonprofit organization based in Boerne that is dedicated to preserving family lands and the natural resources they protect for future generations.
Brent Evans, the Cibolo Conservancy's executive director, said the workshop is geared toward landowners and potential landowners, farm and ranch real estate professionals, estate planners, financial planners and wealth managers. Continuing education credit will be available to Certified Financial Planners who attend the workshop and sign up with their CFP Board identification.
"A conservation easement can be a highly adaptable and useful tool to help families protect their land and their family heritage for generations to come," Evans said. "This workshop also provides useful information for professionals who counsel individuals on preserving family wealth and to ranch real estate agents and brokers, all of whom will find conservation easements to be an effective new tool for helping families achieve their objectives."
The workshop will focus on provisions in federal income and estate tax law as they affect landowners, Evans noted. He added that the law permits a 30 percent reduction of taxable income for 6 years for donating a voluntary conservation agreement, and it allows farmers and ranchers to deduct a greater percent of their income. These incentives also can be advantageous to cash buyers of real estate who do not plan to develop the property extensively and are seeking tax relief, he said.
The "portability" option to allocate the estate tax exemption between spouses to save federal estate tax also will be addressed, as well as disability planning for landowners and asset-protection strategies to limit landowner liability.
The Cibolo Nature Center & Farm is located at 140 City Park Road at Boerne City Park. The workshop costs $20 per person; $15 for members of the Cibolo Conservancy or the Cibolo Nature Center. Advance registration is requested; visit www.cibolo.org/calendar or call 830-249-4616.