What exactly is a gun trust?

| Jan 24, 2020 | Trust And Probate Litigation

While most individuals have heard of trusts, many don’t realize how many different types of them exist. You’ll want to learn about a gun trust if you have multiple or valuable firearms though.

A gun trust is a management trust that can be either irrevocable or revocable. The latter is the most popular type of trust though because it allows the grantor to continue making amendments to it for as long as they’re alive. A gun trust allows you to lawfully transfer the title of your firearms to someone else.

Most every weapon listed as part of the National Firearms Act (NFA) Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968 must be held by the trust instead of being owned by a person. This means that anyone who has a silencer/suppressor, a short-barreled shotgun or a fully automatic machine one must set up a gun trust and place these weapons into it.

Many individuals who own sizeable firearms collections, even if they aren’t Title II ones, may benefit from placing their weapons into a gun trust.

Grantors have to document which weapons they own when setting up a gun trust. This can come in handy when your executor files go to probate your estate, especially if it includes a listing of the market value of your weapons. This can come in handy if the executor of your Sioux Falls estate finds oneself needing to liquidate your assets to pay your creditors or outstanding taxes.

Placing your guns into a trust protects individuals who aren’t lawfully able to possess guns from having them come into their possession.

Setting up a gun trust also allows for your heirs to have time to take possession of your firearms in alignment with both South Dakota and federal laws. Individuals may be limited as to what types of weapons or the number of them that they can possess in a certain jurisdiction. By placing them into a trust, it gives your heirs time to figure out what laws they must adhere to in their area so that they don’t violate the law.

Gun trusts are essential estate planning tools that anyone who owns numerous firearms should set up. An attorney can advise you of what’s involved in getting it going as well as the pros and cons of having it in place sooner than later.