If you have a gun trust, what documents should you give to your trustee(s)? A gun trust allows the legal sharing of firearms when the grantor appoints authorized users, and when the grantor passes away or becomes incapacitated, the gun trust has clear instructions for trustees on how to manage or dispose of the firearms contained in the trust. Trustees need evidence of these terms in writing. As the grantor of a gun trust, what paperwork should be shared?
If you have a gun trust, provide digital and hard copies of the items listed below. You have been a responsible gun owner and taken the extra step in establishing and using this specialized estate planning tool, now you need to make sure your loved ones have the documentation they need. Our gun trust attorneys in North Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee advise clients to provide trustees with:
Trustee Grant of Use. This piece within the gun trust provides important identification for the trustee. It clearly states the individual is a Special Independent Trustee and that they are permitted to possess specific firearms at a given time.
Approved ATF Form 4 with tax stamp. Without this form it will be a challenge for the trustee to provide valid proof that the firearms in their possession are approved. If desired, laminate a copy to protect it from damage.
Gun Trust. Yes, provide the full document to co-trustees. In the event of your death or your incapacitation, the most recent form of your gun trust should be accessible by those who need it.
Gun trusts are tools to help prevent NFA violations and to ensure the legal transfer of firearms to beneficiaries in an estate plan. The three forms above allow trustees to prove they can legally possess the firearms you have authorized, that the firearms are approved, and that there is in fact a gun trust that addresses each NFA item.
As of this writing, the forms above are sufficient in establishing legal authorized firearms possession for trustees. However, proposed federal gun trust regulations in late 2013 may require additional paperwork. Fingerprints and a background check may soon be required for both grantors and any named trustees. For updates about gun trust changes, check out Southern Gun Law Group on Facebook and Twitter or contact our gun trust attorneys directly.