Practice Areas

Special Property Trust

Edited by Rory Clark

Why you need a Firearms Trust

Having a Firearms Trust provides for an orderly, legal transfer of your firearms to a family member or heir in the event of an owner’s death.

Our Firearms Trust is a valuable tool for any owner, particularly collectors and Type II weapon owners. Since a Firearms Trust is separate from regular estate planning documents, the grantor can select trustees or beneficiaries they know will handle firearms properly.

Here are some ways that a firearms trust prepared by the Legacy Elder Law Center can help reduce the burden of these federal regulations and promote safe and responsible ownership of firearms in general.

Important Benefits of a Firearms Trust

Shared Use: NFA firearms or silencers registered to an individual can only be used and possessed by the registered individual. Without adequate trust arrangements in place, even loaning an NFA firearm or silencer to a spouse or child can make both parties guilty of a federal crime. With a proper firearms trust, NFA registered firearms and silencers can be lawfully used and possessed by more than one person.

Reduced Registrations & Tax Stamp Payments:  Only the trustees actively serving at the time a NFA firearm or silencer is transferred to a trust need to comply with the expensive, invasive, and time-consuming federal requirements to submit to a federal background check and pay for the necessary $200 tax stamp. Co-trustees added after any NFA firearm or silencer has been transferred need not submit to the background check or pay for additional tax stamps. Provided that additional trustees are removed or resign before the transfer of any additional NFA Firearms to the trust, there is no need for them to submit to a background check at that time either. Co-trustees can be added and removed easily.

Safe and Private Transfer at the Time of Death: NFA firearms and silencers registered to an individual pass to his or her beneficiaries according to the terms of the individual’s last will and testament, which must be administered with appropriate public disclosure and under the supervision of an official probate court. NFA firearms registered to your Legacy Elder Law Center Firearms Trust pass to the beneficiaries of the trust outside of the public probate process according to the terms and conditions of your trust.  Your NFA firearms and silencers remain lawfully possessed and useable during transition. 

Avoid Confiscation Under “Red-Flag” Laws:  If your firearms and silencers, whether NFA registered or not, are owned by you individually and you are later deemed to be incompetent or made the target of a “red flag” law, your firearms are subject to immediate confiscation. It is illegal for any other individual to take possession of your NFA firearms or silencers. However, if your gun trust owns your firearms and silencers, even NFA firearms, any co-trustee can take possession of your firearms to hold them on your behalf. Ownership of your firearms will not be lost nor will you have to fight to obtain their return from the government. You retain the ability to direct that the firearms be sold and the cash returned to you, or that firearms continue to be held in trust for the beneficiaries you designate.

Enduring Family Legacy Arrangements: The unique benefit of allowing shared use and possession of firearms from a properly formed trust arrangement can be extended to multiple generations. Instead of requiring the transfer of your valuable firearms out of the trust at your death and triggering necessary background checks and significant tax payments, you can arrange for your trust to outlive you and extend the other benefits of trust ownership to a future generation.

Our Firearms Trust Planning Levels

The LELC Special Property Trust

Our simplest firearms trust is revocable, amendable, and highly discrete. There is no probate or other public disclosure of NFA firearms that you own. Even the trust name doesn’t draw attention to the fact that you own a registered firearm. Our “Special Property Trust” allows for shared possession and use of NFA firearms, such as short-barreled shotguns or rifles, silencers, or other NFA registered property, without requiring additional background checks or the purchase of additional tax stamps. You are the Grantor and sole initial trustee, and you designate who is to receive the trust property at your death. Co-trustees can be easily added or removed without the need for a formal trust amendment. This trust provides a mechanism to avoid the government confiscation of your firearms due to incapacity or “red-flag” laws.

Fixed Price $500.00. Clients who purchase our Special Property Trust receive a $125.00 credit toward the price of our Fundamental or Family Estate Plans or any of our Wealth Protection Plans if done at the same time.

The LELC 1791 Trust

Our “1791 Trust” is designed to provide all of the benefits offered by our “Special Property Trust,” with several important and valuable additions. The 1791 Trust is for the gun owner who wants to extend the many benefits of trust ownership to the next generation or further. Possession and use of your firearms can pass from one generation to another without triggering required public exposure or costly and time-consuming background checks and tax stamps. The 1791 Trust is designed for maximum flexibility in a world of uncertain regulation. This trust allows you to designate a Trust Protector who can address future problems or changes in the law. Many of our clients use our 1791 Trust to hold and manage Title I standard firearms as well as their Title II NFA firearms.

Fixed Price $1000.00. Clients who purchase our 1791 Trust are entitled to a $250 credit toward our Fundamental or Family Estate Plans or any of our Wealth Protection Plans if done at the same time.

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