Joe had very clear ideas about where his property should go after he passed away. Fortunately, he put together an estate plan that stated his wishes. However, he was concerned about how his firearms would be transferred to his son. In addition to a Will, general durable power of attorney, and medical power of attorney, Joe also established a gun trust. If you are wondering, “Do I need a Florida gun trust?” you may want to consider the following questions.
Firearms that are part of a probate estate are handled far differently than the family silver or Dad’s old fishing boat. Why? Because federal law regulates the transfer of certain types of guns and related equipment, in part through the National Firearms Act (NFA).
Gun trusts are set up to specifically handle the ownership and transfer of firearms and are especially useful where the client owns NFA firearms, such as suppressors or silencers, short-barreled shotguns, short-barreled rifles, machine guns, destructive devices, and weapons that fall within a category known as A.O.W. (any other weapon).
Wills become part of the public record when admitted to probate. Bequests made in the Will, then, also are available for anyone to read. When confidentiality is an issue, it typically is better to use a trust.
When the grantor of a gun trust passes away, the firearms are distributed according to the terms of the gun trust. This may mean they pass to heirs or to a new trust.
With Joe’s situation, he does not want his gun ownership or his son’s to be known to just anyone. When he dies, any firearms in his gun trust will pass privately and confidentially to the appropriate heir.
It’s not uncommon for people, related or not, to purchase and use firearms together. In some cases, allowing someone to use your firearm or suppressor could lead to criminal charges or other penalties.
Attorney John Mangan is experienced with gun trusts. He regularly helps clients set up a trust that fits their needs. To schedule an appointment, call us at 772-324-9050 or fill out our Contact Form. Our office is conveniently located in Palm City, Florida. We also help clients throughout Florida, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, and Port St. Lucie.