A trust is an agreement about handling property, and it includes rules telling the trustee how to protect the property for the benefit of a beneficiary. A trust is sometimes viewed as a person, like an individual or a corporation. For example, the National Firearms Act (“NFA”) allows an individual or a trust to register NFA firearms, like silencers (or suppressors), short barrel rifles, and machine guns. What difference does that make?
Under current law, NFA registrations by a trust do not require fingerprinting, photographs, or the signature of a chief law enforcement officer (“CLEO”). Also, NFA firearms registered by a trust may be possessed by more than one person named in the trust. Finally, a trust allows you beneficiary to keep or inherit your property without the bureaucracy of the court system or public record.
In a revocable or living trust, the trust maker reserves the power to completely change or terminate the trust. The trust maker may appoint himself as the trustee. After the death of the trust maker, a successor trustee oversee the trust for the benefit of the beneficiary.
Depending on your state’s law, the successor trustee could continue using the trust for the beneficiaries beyond the life of the trust maker, and they could keep your original NFA firearms in the trust.
A well-designed gun trust is a trust with several purposes should contain instructions and protections to help you and your successors obey the law and to keep your guns as safe and private as possible.
Beware, not all gun trusts are the same. Most so-called ‘gun trusts’ do not provide sufficient safety and legal guidance to you and your successors. Also, the regulations for NFA firearms are changing. Learn what makes Gun Trust USA™ unique and the most up-to-date design for NFA firearms.