If you’re thinking of passing a gun collection on to your heirs, things can get complicated. As common as gun ownership is in the United States, the laws are still complex and there are many potential pitfalls. With an expensive collection, you want to avoid these issues. A gun trust can do this in numerous ways, so let’s take a look at some of the most common examples.
Leaving guns to minors
You’re an adult who legally purchased your guns in accordance with state and federal laws. Your children, however, are still minors. If you leave a firearm to a child who is a minor — in your will, for instance — they may not actually be allowed to own it. One potential solution is to put the gun or guns into a trust, and the rules of the trust can then state that the trustee can transfer ownership of the firearm to your heir when they become old enough for this to be legal.
If you’re drafting your estate plan early in life, this is worth considering. Remember, once your heirs become adults, you can always amend your estate plan to reflect that. But it’s wise to have a plan in case something happens unexpectedly at a young age.
Keeping guns in the family
A gun trust may also be helpful if you’re no longer allowed to own guns but you do want them to stay in the family. For instance, one man had to get rid of his guns after a felony conviction. His solution was to put them in a trust, where he could no longer get them, and leave them to his children that way. This was deemed legal even though he had that felony conviction.
A felony is just one way to lose your gun rights. You could also develop a disorder or disease that makes ownership problematic. Regardless, a gun trust may give you the options you’re looking for.
Setting it up
Are you interested in setting up a gun trust? For this and any other type of estate planning, we can help you explore your options.