Editor's note
The following abstract describes a publication that is only available as a downloadable PDF.

Get the PDFDavid Watson
Financial Advisor and Missouri Tree Farmer

Larry Godsey
MU Center for Agroforestry

The U.S. is blessed with a diverse portfolio of natural resources. Not least among them is our vast timberland. About 42 percent of the nation’s forestlands are in private ownership. Mostly, these are family owned forests. The objectives of these family forest owners vary widely. Whatever their purpose, these families have a large economic stake in one of America’s crown jewels — its forestland. The reality is that the vast majority of these privately owned, family forests will change hands over the next several decades as the current generation of owners ages. Often, the intent is to keep these important assets in the family for future generations. However, the pressures and realities that family forest owners face today are likely to prevent this from happening unless steps are taken to prepare for the transfer. This publication is about helping the current owners of family forestland assess their situations and prepare for a successful transition to the next generation of owners.


  • Family forestland
  • Estate-planning attorney
  • Accountant
  • Financial advisor
  • Consulting forester
  • Forest inventory
  • Management plan
  • Ownership considerations
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Power of attorney
  • Advance medical directives
  • Health insurance
  • Long-term care
  • Investment portfolio
  • Life insurance
  • Conservation easements
  • Buy-sell agreements
  • Vision statement
  • Heir assessment



Publication No. AF1013