Articles Posted in Gun Trusts

One question we occasionally get from our clients is how to manage any guns that might be part of their estates as they plan for the future. If you own a gun, as long as it is registered and legal, there are steps you can take to make sure your beneficiaries can receive the firearm after your passing. There are, however, important complexities to keep in mind when thinking about what that process look like for your estate.

What is Involved in Passing on Guns and Firearms?

If you have any gun or firearm that you would like to pass to a loved one after your death, there are a few steps you need to take in the short-term future. First and foremost, you must think about who exactly you would like to be your gun’s beneficiary. The beneficiary must be legally entitled to gun ownership in terms of their age, criminal history, and citizenship status. It is always safest to also leave a secondary beneficiary, in case something happens where the primary beneficiary is no longer able to accept the gun.

Secondly, it is important to think about the executor of your estate, or the person responsible for distributing the estate’s assets. That person must be able to legally possess the firearm – in certain circumstances, this means having a federal firearms license. Choosing an estate executor is an important decision, and it is important that you trust your executor will have your best interests in mind.

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The firearm industry is heavily regulated, and a mistake during the ownership transfer of a firearm can become a felony. A gun trust can prevent these errors from occurring. But because gun trusts are not well-known, many people have questions about what a gun trust really is, and if they would benefit from getting one.

What is a Gun Trust? What Does a Gun Trust Do?

A gun trust is a term for a revocable or irrevocable trust to take title to firearms. In practice, this allows the orderly transfer of the weapon upon the death of an individual to their designated beneficiary.

2.11.19Gun owners, you may own guns to protect your family or because you admire the workmanship or history of firearms. However, without a gun trust, your heirs may face a surprising consequence.

Mistakes with inherited IRA accounts can become expensive, but the penalty is financial. Inherit a gun collection without the necessary permits, and you could unwittingly commit a felony. Gun collectors need to prepare their heirs, if they intend to pass on their firearms, and they may also need a gun trust.

Kiplinger’s recent article, “Own a Gun? Careful: You Might Need a Gun Trust,” explains that a gun trust is the common name for a revocable or irrevocable management trust that’s created to take title to firearms.

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