Do you need a gun trust?

Do you have a gun collection? Maybe you’re a hunter and you have weapons you’ve used for sport, or maybe you just happen to have a few firearms that are considered family heirlooms.

Either way, your estate plans may be missing the mark if you don’t have a gun trust in place.

What are the advantages of a gun trust?

Many weapons are regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934. The NFA controls who may own certain firearms and how ownership rights are transferred. In addition, state laws can place further restrictions on firearm ownership rights.

For gun owners and their heirs, this can present a lot of problems. Weapons that aren’t properly licensed may have to be turned over to the government — not your heirs — after your death. Even if a weapon is licensed, your named heir may be legally prohibited from registering a weapon in their name for some reason, like a domestic violence charge, which can also lead to your guns being forfeited to the authorities.

A gun trust can be drafted to keep your weapons out of probate entirely. They can also be designed to protect your weapons from seizure over someone’s debts. You may also name multiple trustees and more than one beneficiary — essentially bequeathing your firearms down through your descendants for the future.

Having your firearms in a trust may also protect them as gun laws tighten. While there’s no guarantee, guns held in a trust may be “grandfathered” against new restrictions on weapons.

Protecting your assets — including special collections, like firearms and other weapons — for your heirs takes planning. Leave nothing to chance. Let an attorney who understands sophisticated estate planning techniques help you shape the future for your heirs.