The Law Offices of Senerchia & Senerchia P.C is experienced at drafting living Gun Trusts and NFA Gun Trust for the purpose of protecting future transfers, having multiple owners, avoiding probate, protecting future transfers and the trust exists beyond death.
Why Have a Gun Trust?
A Gun Trust is typically used for NFA items, however in light of current political climate, gun owners should consider transferring ALL of their guns into a Trust in order to avoid certain proposals under consideration that would ban ALL transfers of any co-called "Assault Weapon" as well as other items.
One of the key Senate proposals under consideration would ban any and all transfers of certain guns and magazines – to ANYONE – including your own children. You wouldn't even be able to have your guns pass to your children through your Will at your death! Instead, your guns and magazines would presumably be confiscated by the government at your death.
What is a Gun Trust and how does it work?
As part of your estate and asset protection plan, you probably think you've checked all the boxes. You may have a will, a trust, and even an end of life plan in place to protect your family and your estate. But have you thought about protecting your firearms? If you're living in Rhode Island or Massachusetts a gun trust may be a smart addition to your estate planning.
With a Gun Trust, Federal law allows NFA items to be owned by individuals, but also by trusts and business entities such as corporations. A Gun Trust is a generic name for a revocable or irrevocable management trust created to take the title of firearms and certain firearms accessories. Sometimes these trusts are also called NFA Gun Trusts because they apply to weapons covered by the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act of 1968. Since the trust would be the owner of the NFA item, all of the trustees of the trust would be able to use the NFA item and not just a individual owner. NFA weapons have a serial number, and owners must register them with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Only one owner can use and possess these firearms, and the owner must pay a $200 tax to transfer a registered firearm.
Even if you do not own any NFA items or do not intend to own any NFA items in the future, it is important to develop a Gun Trust that houses all of your non NFA items to ensure they are able to be passed down and protected through generations.
Advantages of Having a Gun Trust
There are some practical advantages to a gun trust, even before estate planning comes into play:
Protecting Future Transfers
If future laws prohibit or restrict the transfer of certain firearms, a gun trust may help. Because every trustee of your gun trust can possess or use the firearms, a gun trust may allow you to sidestep some restrictions. For instance, by transferring you magazines into the trust prior to a ban and restriction on transfers the trust would then own those magazines and since the trust never dies those magazines can be used by the other trustees of the trust.
More than one person can own and possess a firearm in a gun trust. If you name multiple trustees to the gun trust, each trustee will have the right to use or possess the weapons.
Trust Exists Beyond Death
If you'd like, you can set up your gun trust to continue beyond your death, allowing your beneficiaries to use and possess the firearms in the trust without paying the $200 transfer tax to the ATF, filing forms, being fingerprinted, and requesting permission from local law enforcement. The trustees and beneficiaries will have whatever rights you grant them in the trust.
If you name specific beneficiaries for the firearms in your gun trust, the firearms don't have to go through probate and pass directly to your named beneficiaries. Having your firearms in a trust can also avoid legal issues for the executor of your estate. A trustee manages the trust, and you can name a trustee well versed in federal and state gun laws to avoid the executor inadvertently passing weapons to someone who cannot legally possess them.
Contact a Gun Trust Lawyer in Rhode Island & Massachusetts Today
At Law Offices of Senerchia & Senerchia P.C., we know you have lots of questions about how Gun Trust can be incorporated into your estate planning. Our Gun Trust lawyer in Rhode Island & Massachusetts is here to answer your specific questions. Contact us either by using our online form or calling us directly at 401-615-3880 to schedule a free initial consultation.