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News release from the Forest Service: ASHEVILLE, NC - The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) today encouraged forest landowners, and the tax experts who serve them, to take advantage of the useful information available in Estate Planning for Forest Landowners: What will become of your timberland?
“Private individuals hold more forest land than any government agency or corporation – some 261 million acres nationwide,” said SRS Research Forester and co-author John Greene. “With so much riding on their decisions, my co-authors and I felt compelled to produce a guide that helps private landowners better understand the federal estate tax laws that apply to them, so they can attain their financial and estate goals, as well as their conservation objectives.”
Published by SRS in 2009, the book provides private forest owners with practical information about tax and estate planning and techniques involving forest properties. For example, forest landowners who want to maintain ownership within their families should find the publication especially useful. Tax, legal, forestry, insurance and other professionals will also benefit from the guidance offered in the book’s 200-pages.
The book presents a working knowledge of the federal estate and gift tax law with particular focus on the unique characteristics of owning timber and forest land. The book consists of four major parts that:
• Develop the practical and legal foundation for estate planning.
• Explain and illustrate the use of general estate planning tools.
• Explain and illustrate the use of additional tools that are specific to forest ownership.
• Describe the forms of forest land ownership, as well as the basic features of state transfer taxes and the benefits of forest estate planning.
Greene co-authored the book with William Siegel and Harry Haney. Siegel is a member of the Louisiana Bar and USDA Forest Service volunteer based in River Ridge, La. Haney is a professor emeritus in the Department of Forestry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. Va.
The book is posted online at: http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/gtr/gtr_srs112.pdf . Landowners and others may request paper copies (a limited number are available) by e-mail by sending their name and complete mailing address, along with the title, author and publication number (GTR-SRS-112) to: firstname.lastname@example.org .