A gun trust is a unique type of trust made with the intention of passing on firearms to your beneficiaries and will have special terms from firearms laws. A gun trust can be set up to be revocable or non-revocable (irrevocable); the big difference between these two types of trusts is that a revocable trust can be revoked and so is still considered your asset while an irrevocable trust can be treated as an asset separate from your own. The main benefit of a gun trust is to ensure that you can pass along your firearms to those you wish without breaking the law. There are several categories of people who are not allowed to own a firearm and we can help you decide who should be your beneficiary(ies).
Generally, the grantor (the gun owner) creates a trust during his or her lifetime for his or her benefit, naming themself as a trustee. They may also choose to name another as trustee or beneficiary but there are restrictions that must be considered. The trust should make specific references to an intent to comply with the Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act. It is also important to note in the trust’s statement of intent that the trust is created specifically to comply with local, state, and federal laws on firearms in its administration and interpretation. The gun trust should be its own trust and should not be combined with any other trust.
There are many issues that can arise when setting up a gun trust that could cause problems if they are not addressed in the trust. For example, the gun trust should provide the successor trustees with broad language to deal with the firearms and give them discretion to transfer firearms to beneficiaries in accordance with local, state, and federal law so there are no issues later on. The trust should also address the requisite transfer forms to transfer the firearms, reimbursement for shipping costs, and reimbursement for travel costs to transport such firearms.
Other issues could arise when naming specific beneficiaries during your lifetime. The trust should give you authority to ascertain, at the time a firearm is to be distributed, whether a beneficiary can receive the firearm, and make an alternate disposition of the firearm in case a certain beneficiary is unable to own a firearm. The trust may also nominate a charitable remainder beneficiary as the taker of last resort, ideally, an organization that can properly dispose of the firearm, such as the National Rifle Association.
For help setting up your gun trust, contact us at email@example.com or 801-960-2750.