Why should every adult have a legally binding estate plan? A widely accepted myth is that your spouse will immediately receive the entirety of your assets upon your passing. This is not true in every jurisdiction and circumstance. In some instances, your spouse will inherit only a fraction of your worth, with the remainder passing to your heirs or other relatives. Estate planning is essential for ensuring that all of your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
Individuals who possess weapons are no exception, and should be certain that the weapons they own are included in their complete estate plan. If you do not have a gun collection passed on from previous generations as family heirlooms, this may be the first time you have heard the term “gun trust.” Even if you have, you may not have a thorough understanding of what a gun trust is, how it works, or how it applies to your situation.
Federal, state, and municipal rules may all have an influence on your ability to acquire, carry, and transfer weapons. Many owners have established gun trusts that allow them to lawfully transfer their firearms to their beneficiaries to comply with gun transfer restrictions.
A gun trust is sometimes known as an NFA Gun Trust since it covers guns covered by the National Firearms Act (amended by Title II weapons under the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Firearms Protection Act of 1986).
Gun trusts can also be a safeguard if you become incapacitated as part of your overall estate planning, or for the disposition of your gun collection. For instance, perhaps your family has a collection of historical firearms, and you want them to remain in the family to be passed down through the generations.
A gun trust allows transmittal of the firearms to your heirs as planned while also ensuring that they do not unwittingly violate the law when receiving them. As with any trust, it is critical to seek the advice of an attorney who has expertise in structuring asset protection trusts. A poorly crafted estate plan may have substantial legal ramifications for your heirs.
Comprehensive Estate Planning
A gun trust that stays in effect after your death provides further benefits in addition to permitting the transfer of law-compliant guns and avoiding probate. A gun trust also permits you to nominate more than one person to house the weapons under the trust and, to some degree, provide safety from future legal changes.
In essence, a gun trust allows you to pass your weapons to your heirs and have them take ownership without breaking the law. There are distinctions between this and an ordinary trust. Gun Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable. Whether a trust is irrevocable or revocable, it should be established with all of the protocols required by the jurisdiction laws in which the grantor resides. The trust should specify that the owner’s particular aim in establishing the trust is to comply with the NFA and other applicable laws. As a result, consult with a preeminent trust and estate planning attorney who offers comprehensive estate planning services to protect your assets and legacy.