Chances are if you have a Class 3 weapon, suppressor, or device, you already know why you need a National Firearms Act (NFA) trust. A NFA gun trust is an estate planning tool and form of owning class 3 items. A gun trust is a revocable form of ownership that allows you to purchase multiple class 3 items and pass them on for generations. Through a NFA gun trust, you can select beneficiaries and trustees that are responsible for safeguarding the trust property (your class 3 items), and change those people at any time.
Buying Firearms through the Trust
Since the NFA trust, not the individual who sets up the trust, is considered the actual purchaser of the class 3 items, fingerprint cards, photographs, and Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) approval are not required for purchase. The NFA Trust is a legal entity and the purchaser (transferee) on Form 4 – the NFA transfer document.
Ownership and Gun Distribution
A NFA Trust can provide continuity of ownership of your guns for several generations – often for over 70 years. Like with other revocable trusts, the owner controls the property (class 3 items) and the property can be transferred, bought, and sold in and out of the trust at any time. Items can also remain in the trust until the trust terminates. When the trust terminates, the items will be distributed to the named beneficiaries and each recipient of trust property must pay a $200 transfer tax for each Class 3 item.
Gun trust fill-in-the-blank forms, like wills, can be found online. But a gun trust, like other estate documents, must be drafted properly to be valid. Do you want to gamble on the fate of your class 3 collection? Chances are your collection cost you far more than a carefully crafted gun trust. Rather than making your collection vulnerable to the pitfalls of a poorly drafted gun trust, talk to a lawyer. Remember, despite good intentions, your local gun shop owners may not provide legal advice on how to create a gun trust. Call Debbie or email her to talk about setting up your gun trust.