When people create an estate plan, they are often thinking about a Last Will and Testament, a trust, or even an end-of-life plan that can ensure their family and estate are protected. However, what most fail to realize is there is much more that these estate plans can do, including protecting your firearms. If you live in Northern Virginia and own firearms, consider speaking to an experienced Northern Virginia estate planning lawyer about gun trusts and whether they are a good option for you.
Know the Laws
Individuals who own Title II weapons, also known as National Firearms Act (NFA) controlled firearms, are not allowed to loan, gift, or otherwise permit any other individual from using or possessing these firearms. Failing to comply with these laws can result in convictions and fines and the loss of the right to own firearms in the future.
The firearms that are covered by the NFA include:
- Short Barreled Rifles
- Short Barreled Shotguns
- Machine Guns
- Destructive Devices
- Any Other Weapons (AOW), which includes firearms and accessories that do not fall into another category
What Is a Gun Trust?
A gun trust is a type of trust that is used to receive, purchase, transfer, and hold guns that are subject to certain types of federal regulations and laws. However, these trusts can also hold firearms subject to less stringent federal regulations. These trusts will usually have one or more trustees who will hold legal title to the trust property and one or more beneficiaries who will hold equitable title to the trust property.
The Advantages of a Gun Trust in Virginia
Creating a gun trust in Virginia can provide numerous benefits and advantages to the owners of NFA firearms, including the following:
- NFA firearms registered to a Virginia gun trust can be passed to the beneficiaries of the gun trust outside of the probate process.
- NFA firearms that are registered to a Virginia gun trust can be possessed and used by more than one individual.
- The settlor of a Virginia gun trust can remove individuals or add people who are allowed to use and possess NFA firearms throughout their life.
- If the settlor is deemed incompetent, the NFA firearms registered to a Virginia gun trust will continue to be protected.
- If there are beneficiaries who are not yet of legal age to legally possess the NFA items, a gun trust can hold these assets until the beneficiary can lawfully possess the firearms.
However, to understand how a gun trust can help your situation, consider reviewing your specific circumstances with an experienced Northern Virginia estate planning attorney. These legal professionals can go over in detail what gun trusts are, how they work, and what this trust can mean for you and your loved ones.
Contact Ardent Guardian Today To Learn More About Gun Trusts in Northern Virginia
If you are thinking about creating a gun trust in Northern Virginia or want more information about these trusts, contact the legal team at Ardent Guardian and get your questions answered today.