For those who have valuable weapons or collect firearms, how the guns should be handled after the owner’s death can be a concern. If heirs are not experienced, they may fall afoul of state and federal laws concerning safe storage and legal transfer of weapons. Or they might be taken advantage of when it comes time to sell.
The answer, according to experts quoted in the most recent ABA Journal, in an article titled “Got valuable firearms? A gun trust can be a helpful estate-planning tool,” may be what is called “a gun trust.”
The thinking behind this strategy? By putting gun ownership in trust and naming a knowledgeable person to look after your firearms, the chance of trouble and issues coming into play upon your incapacity or death is minimal.
In addition, the paperwork requirements for transferring guns allows a smooth transition postmortem.
Remember that probate is a public process, so the trust prevents information about a valuable collection to be easily uncovered by thieves.
The original article says an estate planning attorney experienced with the special nuances of gun trusts can help you keep things legal and provide guidance to your heirs and beneficiaries.
People may not think to list a gun collection as a part of their assets during the estate planning process. Consequently, that’s why an attorney with experience in estate planning can make sure everything is covered.
You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.
Reference: ABA Journal (November 10, 2014) “Got valuable firearms? A gun trust can be a helpful estate-planning tool”