How to Find a Good Appraiser, and What to Expect When You Do

If passing on land or protecting it through a conservation easement is part of your estate plan, finding the right appraiser is key.

You will want to seek out someone who

  • is a “qualified appraiser”—the only kind recognized by the IRS
  • has experience valuing land for conservation purposes, and ideally has experience with woodlands
  • is aware of all regulations and penalties for appraisers
  • is trusted by those you trust—your forester or the state forestry agency may be able to suggest someone

Once you’ve found the right appraiser, the appraisal process can take up to 4 to 6 months as the appraiser gathers the information he or she needs. Leave yourself plenty of time to make any deadlines you’ve set for yourself or that have been established for a conservation agreement.

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