If you or a loved one own a firearm, you have hopefully started to think through what would happen to that firearm in the event of your death. In Texas, there are several considerations to keep in mind when planning for your firearms long term, and today’s blog post is intended to serve as a first step in helping you figure out how to make your plans a reality.
Passing a Firearm Through a Will
The most logical way to pass a firearm to a loved one is to include a provision in your will or estate plan. There are several complications to keep in mind. First of all, your intended beneficiary must be legally able to own a gun. If that person is prohibited from being listed on a gun registry or has any other restriction in place regarding possible firearm ownership, your estate executor will run into significant problems trying to pass the gun to the beneficiary after your death.
The estate executor himself must also be legally able to own a gun. Sometimes, this involves having a federal firearms license. Check with your estate executor and see if there are any possible impediments to his gun ownership – if there are, you are better off addressing those now than down the road, when time is of the essence.
Another factor to think through is your intended beneficiary’s state of residence. If the intended heir lives across state lines, you will have to research the gun ownership laws in the second state to ensure there are not additional requirements you have to meet in order to include the firearm in your will.
Other complications depend on the type of gun that you own – if the gun is subject to the National Firearms Act of 1934 (fully automatic weapons, short-barreled rifles, and others), there are certain registrations that you need to comply with before passing the firearm on. Unregistered weapons, on the other hand, are prohibited from being passed down.
Firearms can be tricky to navigate in an estate plan, and with a topic as sensitive as this one, we recommend that you speak with an estate planning expert who can take your circumstances into account when helping you devise the best course of action. By taking the time now to make sure everything is above board, you can set your beneficiaries up for success in the future.
Are You in the Market for an Estate Planning Attorney in Texas?
At McCulloch & Miller, we take pride in carefully and thoroughly creating an estate plan for each client according to that person’s individualized needs and goals. If you are looking for legal advice regarding plans for you or a loved one, don’t wait – reach out to our firm to begin your planning process today. For a consultation with a member of our Texas estate planning team, give us a call at 713-936-9073. You can also fill out our online form to have an attorney reach back out to you as soon as possible to discuss your case.