Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dead People With Guns

One of the growing estate planning niches is preparing for the death of gun owners and handling the estates of gun owners.

Here are two sites which have detailed information about the issues and the solutions:

  • Neil E. Hendershot, "I bequeath my machine gun to . . ." , PA Elder, Estate & Fiduciary Law Blog, Sept. 12, 2007:
       
    What does an attorney do when, after an elderly person dies, a search of the home reveals a gun?  This issue faces estate attorneys quite frequently, especially in pro-gun states, such as Pennsylvania.  Most attorneys, even those not proficient in firearms law or firearms in general, will properly handle the transfer of a typical firearm.  What does an attorney do when the search reveals an automatic weapon -- essentially, a "machine gun" (or "machinegun" under federal law)?
       
    Uncertainty in proper disposition of such a firearm could lead to one’s client being convicted of possession of an unregistered firearm, punishable by up to 10 years, $250,000 in fines and the forfeiture of the weapon and any “vessel, vehicle, or aircraft” used to conceal or convey the firearm.
       
  • David M. Goldman, Florida Gun Trusts or National Firearms Trust , Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog, July 30, 2007 & Wood, Atter, & Associates, National Firearms Gun Trust:
       

    Although most Florida Revocable Trusts can hold firearms, many are not setup properly to deal with the special issues involving items regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA).  When the NFA is violated, the individuals who violate the act are subject to substantial fines, criminal charges, and forfeiture of all weapons (not just those regulated). 
       
    In addition the trust must deal give the Trustee special powers and instructions on how to deal with unplanned events.  Assets in a Firearms Trust can not be distributed like other assets upon the incapacity or death of the Grantor or Settlor.
       
    Although most Florida Revocable Trusts can hold firearms, many of these trusts are not properly written to deal with the special issues involving items regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA).  When the NFA is violated, the individual, who violates the act is subject to substantial fines, criminal charges, and forfeiture of all weapons (not just those regulated).
       
    A properly prepared Gun Trust also contains provisions dealing with death, incapacity, and transfer of the firearm.   Assets in a Gun Trust cannot be distributed like other assets upon the incapacity or death of the Grantor or Settlor of the trust.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2007/09/dead-people-wit.html

Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink

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Comments

Help! Looking for an attoney to create an NFA Trust for me in Ohio to avoid some the issues you have presented here. Thanks

Posted by: Jeff | Sep 30, 2007 6:42:15 PM

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