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.