FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GUN TRUSTS
What is a Gun Trust?
A Gun Trust is a special, purpose-driven revocable living trust designed primarily to: (1) legally expedite the transfer of NFA (“Title II”) firearms to heirs; and (2) to provide specific instructions over disposition of your gun collection
Can I go online to do my Gun Trust?
Sure; but it’s not a good idea. The popular estate plan document-producing website nolo.com recently posted a Q&A topic on Gun Trusts. The site’s advice is as follows:
“If you want to create a gun trust, get personalized legal advice from an expert on gun laws. Nolo living trusts are designed for the people who simply want to pass on their assets while avoiding probate. Gun trusts are complicated because they:
* may need to last for more than one generation
* may have multiple trustees, and
* must address both state and federal weapons laws.”
As an attorney, I also suggest not using an internet site for this important aspect of your estate plan (or any aspect of your estate plan, for that matter)
Can’t I use my current revocable living trust as a Gun Trust?
Again, yes, but also not a good idea. Revocable living trusts are designed to transfer assets such as real estate, bank accounts, and vehicles from one generation to the next. A typical revocable living trust does not address the state and federal laws regarding passing firearms (Title II or others) from one generation to the next. A typical revocable living trust is NOT a gun trust
What are the possible consequences of failing to plan for my guns?
Failure to specifically plan for your gun collection may expose your trustee to serious liability. This may come in the form of federal or state prosecution of an trustee who unknowingly violates federal or state laws by: (1) distributing firearms to a beneficiary who may not legally own them; (2) distributing guns across state lines in violation of state or federal law; (3) transferring NFA (“Title II”) firearms without following federal and state laws. Just as important – beneficiaries may be exposed to prosecution for being on the receiving end of an improper transfer.
That is saying nothing of the personal liability that comes with improper usage of a firearm!
I hope this information has been helpful. For more answers to your questions, please set up a FREE consultation with me!
|Jerry Dorn, Esq.