In February, learn about applicable firearms laws and using gun trusts in elder and special needs practices, and receive guidance on dealing with firearms in estate planning and administration cases. Details below.
Dealing with firearms upon an individual’s incapacity or death and compliance with the law is made easier with a current and properly drafted gun trust. When it comes to legal matters during one’s lifetime, inasmuch as an individual with full mental and physical faculties may face firearms storage, sharing, and transfer matters, particular concerns arise for the elderly and those with special needs.
Elder law and special needs attorneys can enhance their practice by advising clients on properly managing firearms in estate planning and dealing with guns in probate. Some issues surface when managing firearms for the elderly or disabled persons. For one, incompetent individuals are legally prohibited from owning a gun. Safety concerns of firearms in the hands of aging or incompetent individuals, management of gun collections for those experiencing mental decline, and prevention of accidental felonies may become critical matters if not addressed in advance.
Many regulation changes pertaining to gun trusts recently occurred. ATF 41F went into effect in 2016, which imposes additional documentation and administration requirements for new gun trusts—and makes modifications to some existing trust documents advisable. When advising clients on estate planning for firearms, identifying these changes, analyzing existing trusts, and counseling clients on optimal decision-making can help add value to a lawyer’s practice.