Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show where we CRUSH the various legal myths surrounding areas of the gun world & today I’m answering the age old question of should you get a gun trust?
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show where we CRUSH the various legal myths and misinformation surrounding various areas of the gun world.
I’m your host Adam Kraut and today I’m answering the age old question of should you get a gun trust.
A lot of you have been asking for me to do a video on gun trusts. So I’m happy to oblige. As most of you know, trusts are able to own National Firearms Act or NFA firearms. This is because the term person in the tax code, which is where the NFA is found, yes the NFA is actually found in the United States Tax code, defines the term person as an individual, a trust, estate, partnership, association, company or corporation.
It’s worth noting that the term person is defined differently in the Gun Control Act and does not include a trust.
Most people acquire NFA firearms either as an individual or by using a gun trust. So why would anyone want to use a trust to own NFA firearms? Well, there are several reasons. Prior to ATF 41F there were three main reasons and after 41Fs implementation there are two main reasons. Since the new regulations are in effect, we’ll only discuss the current reasons since the third is moot.
The first reason is the use and possession of the NFA firearms the trust owns.
Unlike if you purchase that item as an individual, where if another person wants to use the NFA firearm or possess it without the owner being present they are unable to do so. If a trust owns an NFA firearm it allows trustees of the trust to use and possess the NFA firearms without other trustees being present. So if I as an individual owned a short barrel rifle or SBR and Jon wanted to borrow it to go to the range, he would not be able to do so as that would be an unlawful transfer. If a trust owned the SBR and both Jon and I were trustees, Jon could take possession, head to the range and use it without me being present.
The second reason is for estate planning purposes.
After all, a trust is an estate planning device. Its come to my attention that there are some attorneys out there who are peddling nonsense like if you buy NFA firearms as an individual and then die ATF will confiscate them. This is complete bullshit and the tactic of a used car salesman in order to generate business. Regardless of whether you have a trust or decide to pursue NFA firearms as an individual, as the law is written today, they can be transferred after your death.
A trust has the advantage of being a private document and not subject to probate. In other words, it isn’t a public filing that anyone can go look to see what is in your estate. You may remember when Michael Jackson died, reporters were waiting for his will to be probated so they could see what was in his estate.
And lastly, the age old question of internet trusts versus one drafted by an attorney.
There are several distinct problems with internet trusts. The first being you often don’t get legal advice along with them. You’re left to discern what the different roles in a trust are, such as the settlor or grantor, trustees, beneficiaries, etc. and how to appropriately structure the trust. Second, you have no idea if the trust complies with your particular state’s trust code. Following that same vein, trusts that are marketed as ATF approved really means nothing. ATF looks to see if the document contains certain elements, not if the trust is a valid legal entity in your state. Wherein the problem lies. If the trust is not a valid legal entity and doesn’t actually exist, that could cause a lot of potential headaches in the future for someone, particularly with NFA firearms and the penalties associated with the illegal possession of them.
Whether you elect to pursue NFA firearms as an individual or as a legal entity is a personal decision. Depending upon what you are looking to accomplish a trust may or may not be the mechanism you wish to use. Don’t forget, due to the new regulations, all Responsible Persons are required to submit a responsible person questionnaire, fingerprints and photographs with each application submitted to ATF. For more information on the new regulation be sure to check out the very first episode of The Legal Brief.
A trust is good for estate planning and the ability of others to use and possess the trust’s assets. If neither of those appeal to you, you probably don’t need a gun trust.
Hopefully that gives you a brief overview of gun trusts and why they are useful. If you guys liked this episode, you know what to do, hit that like button and share it around with your friends to help spread the knowledge. Have a question you want answered on this show, let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to like The Gun Collective on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Full 30, Snap Chat and wherever else you can catch us on social media.
And as always thanks for watching!
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