Why Do We Need Gun Trusts?
The United States has an internationally record-breaking number of firearms, including many designed for more than just hunting game. The government does what it can to keep these out of dangerous hands, including supervising who can obtain them, even by inheritance.
This means you cannot simply leave your heirloom hunting rifle or modern firearm collection to a relative in your will. Instead, you’ll need to set up a gun trust or an NFA trust, depending on the types of firearms you wish to pass on.
As with all trusts used in estate planning, the ownership of the assets (in this case, the guns) passes to the trust instead of passing directly to an individual. The trustee or administrator of the trust will then be responsible for distributing them to the designated beneficiaries upon your death.
As in other types of revocable living trusts, guns can be added, purchased by the trust, removed, and used while owned by the trust, so long as you play by the rules…. Rules that a gun trust lawyer at Mateskon Law can help you understand.
What Kinds Of Firearms Require A Gun Trust To Pass On?
Some firearms are even more closely regulated than others, notably Title II guns. These include machine guns, short-barrelled rifles and shotguns, silencers and suppressors, and explosives, all of which cannot be sold, purchased, or passed on in an estate without registration and compliance with National Firearms Act requirements.
This means that the trust to which you pass gun ownership, as well as any potential beneficiaries of the trust, must be vetted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to ensure they will not present a danger to society.
While the requirements are not so strict for other guns, including many handguns and hunting rifles, a gun trust can still be an excellent, safe, and shielded way of passing on your firearms to the next generation.
What Are The Advantages Of Establishing A Gun Trust With The Help Of An Attorney?
In addition to fulfilling the requirements for passing on certain types of firearms to the next generation, gun trusts offer a number of distinct advantages when properly created. And failing to follow the complex procedures and regulations perfectly can come at a very steep price. This is why drafting your gun trust with an experienced lawyer is essential.
- Federal & State Firearm Law Compliance: Michigan takes firearm safety very seriously, and so do we here at Mateskon Law – but we also value very highly the individual rights of our clients. By working together closely to craft the perfect gun trust for your need and collection, we can ensure that all federal and state laws are followed to the letter while leaving you with maximum control over your guns and their future.
- Protecting Your Privacy: Anything that is passed on through your will for your estate will be made public during the probate process. Many Sand Point, Michigan, residents might prefer to keep their estate, (and their firearm possessions), out of the public eye for both privacy and safety reasons. A gun trust, like all trusts, bypasses the probate process, ensuring that this information remains confidential from the public when you pass on.
- Purchasing And Paperwork: Buying and owning a firearm is not something to be done lightly, and in Michigan, the paperwork and procedures involved, especially for any Title II firearms, can seem daunting. Establishing a gun trust with the help of an attorney, especially an NFA trust, will mean passing on much of that administrative burden to someone else. Your gun trust administrator will then be in charge of following all the steps required by state and federal law when purchasing new firearms, as well as vetting future beneficiaries and transferring ownership of them at your death. This also helps avoid drastic and costly mistakes.
What Happens If I Do Not Make A Gun Trust?
The first and most obvious cost of not setting up a gun trust with the help of a lawyer is the risk of losing ownership of those firearms. If you try to leave the wrong type of gun to the wrong person, that gun could be seized and forfeited. Worse still, if you make a mistake when setting up a gun trust by yourself and accidentally break the law, you might be charged with a crime and face serious fines or even jail time.
Protect Your Rights, Guns, And Legacy With A Michigan Gun Trust Attorney
You do not want to cut corners when it comes to your legacy, rights, or guns. When creating a gun trust for you, we will work closely with you to ensure your wishes and rights are respected.
Our knowledge of Michigan and US laws on firearms and trusts will ensure that the rules are followed every step of the way so that your wishes and firearms are safe and protected.
The sooner you set up any estate planning protections, including a gun trust for your firearms, the better. Do not leave their fate up to chance or risk problems for your beneficiaries; call lawyer Andrew Mateskon to begin setting up your gun trust today.