Document / Practical Pointer

Baseline Documentation Reports

Posted 2020 Updated December 4, 2023
Land Trust Alliance
About This Practical Pointer

If consistently and professionally prepared in the ordinary course of business, baseline documentation can help defend the easement by creating an exception to hearsay rules, allowing the baseline to be introduced as evidence in court even though the preparer(s) of the baseline is no longer available to testify to its accuracy. This factsheet explains the purpose of baselines, describes "minimally complete and adequate," and discusses certification and storage.

December 2023 Update: Revised to 1) reflect flexibility afforded by the Tax Court in complying with baseline requirements and 2) to emphasize the importance of the donor and donee’s acknowledgments.