The Jones family has owned several thousand acres of land in Central Alabama for decades. Their property has timber, farming, and potentially sand and gravel deposits. Additionally, it has excellent hunting areas. Some parcels adjoin residential and light industrial development. One is known to host an active bald eagle nesting area.

The property is currently managed by Mr. Jones, who farms, harvests timber periodically, leases some of the land to hunting clubs and uses some of the property for family recreation. No mineral development plan exists, and the family is not interested in developing the land for other uses, even though development companies approach them periodically to discuss selling it for economic development opportunities.

The Joneses have two grown children who live elsewhere, and while they are not able to assume direct management of these assets, the property is a very important part of this family’s legacy. Mr. and Mrs. Jones do not have a will but fully intend to leave these assets to their children.

The Joneses are looking for advice, guidance and a management plan that incorporates their objectives for the property they love, but they aren’t sure where to turn.

Part of the answer may be an experienced and reputable land manager.

Land management firms have expertise in several types of property, and land mangers leverage that experience to help families make decisions.

Regions Bank manages 1,000,000 acres of timberland, 3,000,000 acres of minerals, 200,000 acres of farmland and over 3,000 parcels of real estate.

Before working with a land manager, consider these options.

  1. Recognize that you need and want professional advice. The opinions of friends and family are important, but when you are planning your family’s legacy, professional advice can limit the impact of emotions that may come into play.
  2. Research your options on land management firms in your area.
  3. Develop objectives for the property before working with a land manager. You may also need estate planning assistance, tax advice, or other forms of financial consultation as part of your overall objectives.

Many land management decisions are long-term in nature, often having an impact for generations to come. Finding an advisor who can help meet your immediate needs – with an eye toward the future as well – can help you protect, preserve and maintain this remarkable asset and this significant portion of your family’s legacy.

 

Frank Walburn is Senior Vice President, Natural Resources and Real Estate, at Regions.

The information and material contained herein is provided solely for general information purposes. Regions Bank does not make any warranty or representation relating to the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of any information contained in the newsletter and shall not be liable for any damages of any kind relating to such information nor as to the legal, regulatory, financial or tax implications of the matters referred herein. This material is not intended to be investment advice nor is this information intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument. Any opinions expressed herein are given in good faith, are subject to change without notice, and are only current as of the stated date of their issue.

 

This article was originally published in Montgomery Business Journal.