How Gun Trusts Work

Gun trusts are revocable living trusts. Just as a trust maker appoints a trustee with power of asset administration in a traditional estate plan, a gun trust maker does the same. Instead, the trust is “funded” with guns and accessories so that the gun trust owns them.

The trust maker can modify the trust at any time. The flexibility helps to easily add new items, modify beneficiaries, and respond to legislation changes. A major federal regulation change with regard to NFA weapons occurred in 2016 and many existing gun trusts may require modification in order to comply.

The trust maker will appoint a trustee. The trustee has power to manage the trust according to the trust document upon the trust maker’s death. The trustee may legally possess and use firearms held in trust.

The trust maker will name beneficiaries. Gun trusts can also include maintenance instructions unique to each firearm. Beneficiaries may also legally possess and use firearms held in trust.

In the event a trust maker becomes incapacitated, the trustee will oversee trust asset management. Upon the trust maker’s death, the trust becomes irrevocable and the firearms pass immediately to beneficiaries as per the trust document. Firearms completely avoid probate, preventing many potential complications that often occur when guns are part of estate administration.

Responsibly Own Firearms

Gun owners should own, share and transfer firearms responsibly with a properly prepared gun trust. Learn more about the risks of owning firearms without a gun trust.