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Are trusts necessary for transferring gun ownership?

Feb 13, 2019 | Estate Planning

Transferring property may seem as if it should be easy, but there can be complicating factors. This is the case when it comes to leaving behind firearms for heirs, as doing so incorrectly can actually be a criminal offense. Florida gun owners can use trusts to effectively and legally pass on their firearms after death.

Firearms are heavily regulated, and this extends not just to ownership but also to transferring ownership of these weapons. So what is a legal gun owner to do when it comes time for estate planning? A gun trust is a smart solution. Firearm owners can title their guns in either an irrevocable or revocable management trust. Doing so generally allows them to pass on their firearms to heirs without violating any laws.

Revocable trusts tend to be a more popular choice. This is because these trusts can be amended, changed or even revoked during the grantor’s — the trust’s creator — lifetime. An irrevocable trust generally cannot be changed, so grantors must be certain of their decisions.

Gun trusts are largely utilized for Title II weapons, which includes things like automatic weapons, suppressors and similar items. While gun trusts might not be strictly necessary for Title I weapons, these are still useful documents that play an important role in the estate planning process. For Florida residents who are unsure of how to best utilize trusts for their estate planning needs, consulting with an attorney who is experienced in these matters can be a good place to start.