Traditional estate planning can be problematic when dealing with firearms. The documents used to manage your bank accounts often instruct people to violate laws that pertain to the transfer, possession, and use of firearms. A Gun Trust is an estate planning document that has been designed to help you acquire, manage, use, and transfer firearms, including those restricted by the NFA, while protecting your family and friends from inadvertent violations of state and federal laws.
Do you have any firearms that are collectible and likely expensive? Do you have any firearms that are subject to federal regulations on ownership and use? If yes, then careful planning may be required to avoid running afoul of tax and regulatory laws upon your incapacity or death.
Planning to give away your estate property is often about understanding your loved ones and family members, but proper planning is also about understanding the assets you are giving and the snares to avoid. You own different assets in accordance with different laws, so you must take these elements into consideration when giving them away.
Many firearm owners take great pride in their collection and also hope to pass them along to their loved ones. Failing to plan for the legal ownership transfer, however, can result in accidentally triggering illegal transfers. Accordingly, if you own a firearm or even a firearm collection you plan to leave to family or loved ones, then a “gun trust” may be in order. A recent article in AmmoLand, titled "A New Breed of Gun Trusts – Protecting Firearms Collectors & Their Collections," makes this point very clearly.
A properly written gun trust can skirt tax and regulatory pitfalls. When drafted correctly, trusts are very powerful and specially-tailored legal tools for giving all sorts of unique assets.
Reference: AmmoLand (April 30, 2012) A New Breed of Gun Trusts – Protecting Firearms Collectors & Their Collections