Estate plans are designed to ensure a smooth transition of a person’s assets to his or her beneficiaries while also reducing the associated taxes. Many estate planners are concerned with the transfer of real property, but overlook some tangible assets like firearms. If firearms are not properly accounted for, there is a significant risk that some undesired effects might occur. As a result, it is critical that people who want to make sure that a firearm is properly received by a beneficiary obtain the assistance of a skilled estate planning attorney.
Laws Regarding the Transfer of Firearms
Federal laws specifically address the issue of firearms. These laws prohibit any individual from receiving or possessing a firearm that is not registered to him or her in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. Laws also prohibit the transportation, delivery, or receipt of any firearms in interstate commerce which have not been properly registered. Violations of these laws can result in people facing up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Many people who have firearms with which they have a personal connection, however, might not remember to take these laws into consideration when creating an estate plan.
Considerations involving an Estate Plan for Firearms
Due to these laws, many beneficiaries are not eligible to receive a firearm after the death of a loved one. As a result, estate plans should always name an alternate party to inherit firearms in case the first beneficiary is not able to take possession at the time that transference is to occur.
If a firearm is heavily restricted, the resulting beneficiary transfer can be particularly difficult. If local law enforcement is unwilling to cooperate, people often discover that it is impossible to transfer ownership of these weapons.
Many people decide to solve issues concerning the ownership of guns by creating a gun trust. These trusts are then used to hold title to the firearm as well as provide guidance to trustee and beneficiaries about how ownership of the firearm should be distributed.
Concerns About Transportation of Firearms
Estate plans can be made even more complicated if firearms must be transported to deliver to beneficiaries. If a beneficiary lives in another state, it is essential that the other state’s firearm regulations are reviewed prior to the delivery of the firearm. A beneficiary, however, might move to a different state after an estate plan is written, which can complicate matters even further. A large number of states require criminal history records be performed before firearms can be transferred, however, which means that a person should make sure a beneficiary would pass this background check.
Obtain the Services of an Estate Planning Lawyer Today
Estate plans should include appropriate provisions about the use of estate assets including firearms. There are many unique concerns about how firearms should be handled and it is important that a person properly plans for these items. Attorney Jim A Lyon knows how to assist with your estate planning needs and can make sure that your firearms are properly transferred. Contact our law firm today for assistance.