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During a recent Wyoming Stock Growers Association workshop on estate transfer, a panel of “next-generation” ranchers, all from Wyoming, delivered their perspectives on how their estate transfers proceeded.
J.W. & Hanna Hendry
The Hendry brothers and their parents run 2,700 mother cows on about 165,000 deeded and leased acres in the center of Wyoming. Their black and black baldie cows are crossed with Charolais bulls. J.W. and his brother are the fourth generation to run the ranch their great grandfather homesteaded in the early 1900s.
“I’m 27, my brother is 22. It took us a year starting last November, with the advice of an accountant and a lawyer, and we’re now the owners of our ranch. We all had to meet with the lawyer a few times to talk about what we wanted. That cost us $2,000 each, but it’s probably the best money we spent,” J.W. says.
“We’re very fortunate in that my brother and I get along, so we didn’t have a problem talking about what we wanted to get done. We set up a will and trust, as well as a buy-sell agreement; and we’ll keep up with any changes needed as times goes on.
“Dad relied on us and gave us responsibility from the beginning, so it wasn’t a big deal to take on more responsibility or figure out our place on the ranch. Both of us can do everything on the ranch and we help each other. But, my brother does more of the cow work and cowboying, while I run machinery and do the farming and trucking.
“One thing my dad did when Hanna and I married and came home was start a construction company; then he ran for county commissioner. He’s no longer in the day-to-day management of the ranch, but it’s nice that he and mom live right on the ranch, so they’re around to help out, and help us learn,” J.W. says.