Many clients and potential clients are asking if they should still want a trust after the ATF 41F rule changes. While the 41F rule changes did increase the difficulty for trusts to purchase firearms, most buyers will still get several important benefits from trusts that make them worthwhile. It is these benefits that lead most buyers to continue using a trust to purchase NFA Firearms.
In brief, here are some of the most important benefits that remain after the 41F rule change.
Firearms registered to individuals can only be possessed by that individual. Ever.
With a trust, you can allow others access to your firearms. For many married purchasers, a spouse naturally has access to the gun safe and may use the firearms on their own for target shooting or hunting. Other clients share a safe with their father or brother and will gladly loan them a firearm. In all of these instances, a properly drafted Firearms Trust allows these multiple people to possess the firearms.
The Gun Trusts I draft are amendable, and you can change one with little work. This allows you to add trustees or beneficiaries later. Many of my clients have a minor child who likes to shoot. One day that child will be an adult, and the parent will want them to have access to the firearms. That day is not here yet, but when it arrives, a simple amendment to the trust will allow their child, or children, to have, possess, and use the firearm.
Other clients anticipate getting married and know they’ll want their spouse to be able to access the firearm for self defense.
And of course there are clients who want their friend on the trust, but realize one day they may need to take him off. They can remove a trustee also if that becomes necessary.
Amending a revocable trust is as simple as drafting a few papers to document the changes you want to make. Fortunately, the ATF does not require notice for the amendment. Therefore no special forms or other documentation need to be submitted to the ATF when adding or removing persons to the trust.
Ease of Inheritance
Ultimately, your trust will pass down your NFA firearms at your death. I construct your trust to make this as seamless and smooth an event as possible. Immediate action is not required, and if one beneficiary ignores the trust the next beneficiary can take care of everything upon the first beneficiaries passing. This unfortunately is a common scenario with widows who did not share the same firearms passion as their husbands. By allowing the trust to go into a holding pattern, we can preserve the rights and the firearms for the children who may be the next beneficiaries. Further, these beneficiaries can receive the firearms in the trust without having to undergo the transfer process you went through when buying the firearm.
When you have a family, or when you may have one in the future, our Gun Trust still gives you great benefits. The ability to have multiple people possess the firearms, and being able to change who those people are, is immediate reason enough to place the firearms into a trust when purchasing. And after your passing, your heirs will be very happy you made their life easier with the trust.
With benefits now and later, most NFA purchasers are still opting to buy NFA firearms through a trust. We have overhauled our trust in light of ATF 41F, and we have made the most of these new rules for clients. If you are looking to buy a NFA firearm in South Carolina, please reach out to us, and we’ll help you get started.