Your estate plan should be as complex or as simple as your estate is, but in all cases it should take advantage of the tools that are right for the job. All estates plans should start with a Last Will and Testament; however, after that the estate planning tools you use will depend on your goals and needs. Trusts are another popular estate planning tool. In case you are under the impression that trusts are only for people with vast estates, think again. Specialized trusts have developed over the last few decades and can be an excellent tool to use when you have a very specialized need or a specific asset that needs to be addressed such as a gun collection.
Unlike most estate assets, leaving your gun collection to someone in your Will may not work. The various local, state and federal laws concerning firearms could result in you essentially asking your intended beneficiary to violate one of those laws if you just bequeath your collection to him or her in your Will. A gun trust can solve that problem.
By creating a gun trust, you can transfer ownership of your collection to the trust and appoint a trustee while you are still alive. Upon your death, the trustee can ensure that all transfers of ownership are accomplished according to all applicable laws, thereby preventing any violations. Your gun trust may also make purchasing and selling firearms less complicated while you are still alive. Talk to your estate planning attorney if you think a gun trust might be a valuable addition to your estate plan.
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