Charity can literally begin at home—or at other real estate that a client may own. Donating a conservation easement to a recognized environmental agency can provide tax as well as psychic rewards. With conservation easements, "landowners permanently restrict the future uses of their land in order to preserve its character and protect it from development," says Paul Brown, a partner in the St. Paul, Minn., law firm of Chandler & Brown.

For example, one of Brown's clients wanted to preserve a large tract near Lake Superior, where the client and his family hunt and allow some logging. "The landowner granted an easement to the West Wisconsin Land Trust that permits those uses, but prohibits subdivision and residential development," says Brown.

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