Trusts. What are they, and how can they help me? A single word and a fundamental question can unlock endless possibilities. A Trust is an estate plan that spells out how specified property should be handled, distributed, or invested. Whatever the asset, there are ways to have that asset treated per your own needs and wants. As the Trustor, the individual who created the Trust, you have the option to develop it as a Revocable Trust or Irrevocable Trust. It can get very complicated on the benefits and detriments on each of those documents. However, one thing is certain—when the Trustor dies, the Trusts created by the Trustor then become irrevocable. At that point, changes cannot be made to the Trust, absent some judicial order. Trusts can be altered, but the law changes from state to state. So, why does Trusts matter in relation to firearms? Everything!
Trust can save you a headache when planning your future distributions. In the current political arena, firearms are at the forefront. Firearm attachments, magazine sizes, silencers, machine guns, and assault rifles. What do these words have in common? They are all misunderstood and commonly fill discussions on forums that misinform individuals. Misinformation is the enemy. Now, that’s an issue better left for future blogs. For now, I want to tell you about the beautiful world of Trusts!
TRUSTS ALLOW INSTRUCTIONS FOR DISTRIBUTIONS
Trusts are beneficial because it allows distribution of your firearms in a neat, private, precise, useful, and instructive way! What do I mean by this? Well, guns are inherently dangerous, right? That’s a fact. Not in the sense of danger because, if untouched, they cannot fire. What I mean is that firearms can cause legal issues. Certain individuals are not allowed to own guns. Other guns require certain licensing before transferring. There might be the case that a firearm was an illegally acquired firearm. In these situations, what should the receiving party do?
Trusts can allow instructive provisions to take care of these issues. For example, certain firearms are labeled NFA firearms. These weapons were deemed more dangerous due to characteristics they have; they are different from other “regular” firearms. Since these weapons require licensing and fees, having the firearm handed to a person after your death would be dangerous. Not only is the beneficiary exposed to liability, but all the parties involved could be implicated as well. To resolve this issues, a Trust can outline the specifics on requiring licensing and having the Trustee, the individual who manages the Trust, oversee the steps the Beneficiary takes.
This method of disposition allows a greater sense of control and oversight to occur, without jeopardizing the privacy which is typically lost in a probate matter.
That leads me to another thing, privacy.
TRUSTS AFFORD YOU PRIVACY
Trusts allow your matters to stay private. Firearms are a very integral part of American society. We use them to hunt, protect, steal, defend, kill. Whatever their purpose, firearms serve it. For that reason, their versatility adds to the glamour and attention they get in society. When a Will is used to dispense these firearms, the information will become public knowledge. Having a small town know of all your private matters is not desirable, and having a Trust allows you to, in general, bypass probate.
A lot more can be done with Trusts in combination with firearms. Keep an eye out for more of my content! Thanks!