Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Systems Technology and Education

Committee Chair(s)

Rondo A. Christensen


Rondo A. Christensen


Lynn Davis


Bill Asplund


Because of increasing rural land values, potential estate problems have been created for farm owners. This study was conducted to analyze land use changes when the farm owner dies. Land use changes and factors related to use change for estates subjected to probate court during 1971-1975, in the selected Utah counties, are described in this thesis.

County records were searched for information pertaining to farm estates probaged in six Utah counties. Individuals handling the affairs of the estates were contacted by mail. Questionnaires returned were used in the analysis and are the basis for the conclusions of this study.

General conclusions of the study were:

1. Land transferred from agricultural to non-agricultural use most frequently when land was sold by the owner prior to death. Transfer of farm land out of agriculture occurred least often when the farm owner utilized estate planning.

2. Regression analysis of variance was used to determine effects of related factors on disposition of farm land use after the owners death. Purchaser and method of land management were determined to significantly influence estate land use.

3. The marital deduction received considerable attention in the new Federal Estate tax law. Of the study estates which paid death taxes; if the new law had been in effect and each estate had a survivor, the total death tax burden would have been lower.