Gun Trusts Provide Special Planning For Transfer of Rifles and Other Guns
With all the recent talk about banning assault rifles such as the AR-15, a California Gun Trust may be more important than it ever has been before. Gun trusts are specifically used to hold weapons regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (NFA or Title II firearms). Although gun trusts are designed to hold title to NFA forearms, they can be used to hold any type of gun. NFA weapons can only be possessed and used by the registered owner. A gun trust is a legal method to assure that NFA weapons and other types of guns do not have to be turned over to local law enforcement officials upon the death of the owner.
What are the advantages of a California Gun Trust?
First, the executor of your estate may not be familiar with the law governing NFA weapons or even guns that are not registered under the NFA. He or she could be violating the law be possessing the weapons or transferring them without going through proper procedures. Transfer of firearms to a person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor domestic violence is prohibited. There are many other prohibitions against transfer of a firearm, including transfer to a person with a restraining order, a person who has been convicted of using controlled substances, or to an illegal alien, just to name a few. When the firearms are owned by the gun trust, the assets in the gun trust avoid probate proceedings and the executor of the estate is not involved in the transfer of the guns. A trustee who is well versed in federal and state gun laws can be designated to manage the gun trust without the need to get involved with probate proceedings.
Second, if you create a gun trust, you can arrange for the gun trust to stay in existence after the death of the current gun owner. The trustee and beneficiaries would have whatever rights are granted to them under the terms of the California Gun Trust. Because the firearms stay in trust after death, the cumbersome transfer process and interaction with ATF and the chief local law enforcement officer is avoided after the gun owner’s death.
Third, many gun advocates are hopeful that should California continue to make gun ownership more and more restrictive, ownership of the firearm under the gun trust will grandfather the firearms under current law.
The technicalities of federal and California law are such that not just any estate planning attorney can create a gun trust. Many internet websites advertise gun trusts for $50 – $500, but those trusts are usually drafted only taking federal law into consideration. The drafting of the gun trust is not the only thing that must be considered – there is also the registration of the firearms under the name of the trust as well as the administration of the trust after it is completed. These low cost websites offer the gun owner no assistance with these important considerations.
Gun trusts may have multiple trustees and beneficiaries. Normally, they are drafted to avoid probate and intended to be administered for the benefit of many generations. As such, you should only consider using an estate planning attorney experienced in drafting and administering gun trusts to assist you. Visit the website of Riverside estate planning attorney Dennis M. Sandoval to obtain more information about California Gun Trusts.