Do you own firearms? If so, an estate plan should include provisions on how to deal with your firearms in the event of your death. The problem with traditional estate planning or using the state’s default rules is that they are both designed to deal with objective decision-making while the thought process involved in giving someone a firearm is objective as well as subjective.
Think about the following issues that do not cause problems with a bank account or other financially based asset but could be devastating with firearms.
1) The location you your children or beneficiaries live at when you die.
2) The legal status of the firearms you own in those states.
3) The logistics of getting the firearms to those states, assuming it would be legal to do so.
4) The legal status of your beneficiary on the date of your death or at the time the transfer is contemplated.
5) What are the legal requirements of possession or use in the state where your beneficiaries live.
6) Who will be your successor trustee or personal representative?
7) The legal status of them to possess or manage firearms?
8) The subjective decision as to if it would be proper to give one or more of the beneficiaries the firearms. ( are they mature and responsible enough as well as is it the right moment in time that you would hand them a gun if you were there to make a decision)
A normal will or trust typically says wait until my child is 25 then give them my Glock or ther firearm. Some of the problems may be that you child lives in CA or one of the states where your Glock is not legal, you child has decided that medical marijuana is wonderful and is a prohibited person under federal laws, your child is in the middle of a nasty divorce or under great financial pressure.
Under these or other circumstances it is easy to see how your firearm could become a weapon and cause your family member to be incarcerated. In addition, there is no legal standard to make sure the family member or friend that you typically would choose to manage your other assets will know anything about guns or be legal to possess them.
As you can see a Gun Trust is the responsible way to own firearms and can even offer asset protection for you and your family members. If you own firearms and would like your estate plan reviewed to correct inadvertant mistakes that are made on a regular basis or to have us create an estate plan for your and your family, use the contact form on the right or call us to discuss your situation.