Passing it On

University of Wyoming Extension


Lucy Pauley, Alan Schroeder, Cole Ehmke and Carolyn Paseneaux

Estate Planning

The information and worksheets in this publication will help you get started on creating a plan for transferring your estate. We had in mind helping Wyoming agricultural operations transition to the next generation, but the techniques and tools can be used by small businesses and individuals. To make it easier for you to access and reuse the worksheets discussed in this publication we have provided them and an Excel® spreadsheet for creating a personal financial statement.

We encourage you to begin conversations on the future of your family business early, and to revisit the goals you agree to and the documents you create regularly. Having regular discussions about the future of the operation before the senior generation starts planning their estate will make transfer decisions easier.

We’re happy to answer questions and to talk with you or your group. Note that some legal information, especially on the federal estate tax, is no longer current due to changes created in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Chapter 1: Introduction by Lucy Pauley
Chapter 2: Success Stories
Chapter 3: Establishing an Estate Plan for Your Family’s Farm or Ranch Business - Initiating the Dialogue by Alan Schroeder
Chapter 4: Developing Common Goals by Cole Ehmke
Chapter 5: Taking Stock of the Estate by Cole Ehmke
Personal Financial Statement (Excel Spreadsheet)
Chapter 6: Succession Planning
Chapter 7: Tools (all topics)
Chapter 8: Coming to a Good Agreement Regarding an Estate Plan for your Family’s Farm or Ranch by Alan Schroeder
Chapter 9: Resources - Planning Professionals, Real Estate Appraisers, Additional Resources
Passing It On - Progress Checklist

Further Resources

Mediation logoUWE buttonThe handbook is a publication of the Wyoming Agriculture & Natural Resource Mediation Program in conjunction with University of Wyoming Extension.

The Passing It On resource guide is intended to provide general information on estate and succession planning. It is not intended to substitute for competent legal advice.


Primary Author Profiles

Lucy Paulty Lucy Pauley is the Coordinator of the Wyoming Agriculture and Natural Resource Mediation Program, which is based in the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. The program provides mediation, technical review teams (TRT’s) and other alternative dispute resolution services for individuals and organizations involved in a wide variety of conflicts including farm credit, grazing permits, split estate disputes, and estate planning. Lucy can be reached at (307) 777-8788 or toll free 1-888-996-9278. Her mailing address is 2219 Carey Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82002-0100, email: Lucy Pauley
Cole EhmkeCole Ehmke was an Extension Specialist with the University of Wyoming’s Extension. His work covers personal resource management topics as well as agricultural entrepreneurship. 

Alan Schroeder retired in 2013 from his position as an Associate Professor with the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wyoming. His work specialty was in agricultural and natural resource law, on which he spoke and wrote widely.

Carolyn Paseneaux Consultant