While not the easiest topics for a lawyer to discuss with a client, firearms have been part of estate planning for many years and there is no choice but to handle it.The gun law in the country allows people to own guns of all types. The lawyer has the task to identify the different kinds of firearms. He has to differentiate between regular and restricted firearms, and then come up with the best plan to handle the firearm.
Regular firearms range from common pistols to shotguns, while restricted firearms range from assault rifles to grenades.
The Process of Securing a FirearmWhen you find a firearm in a trust or an estate, you need to consider various concepts that dictate how the firearm is handled in estate planning.
Here, the lawyer determines where the firearm has been secured as part of the estate plan. You also need to understand who is set to receive the firearm when the estate is executed. You also need to know what roles the trustee has in determining the recipient of the gun.
If you have dealt with other kind of items before, then you know that the firearm is different. A firearm, if handled wrongly, comes with danger way beyond trying to preserve its value.
Therefore, the person that comes into contact with the gun needs to be responsible not only to maintain its value, but to make sure no one gets hurt by the firearm.
The person needs to have the knowledge to secure the gun. He should also be able to have someone that can provide necessary assistance. The fiduciary needs to find the best way to store the firearm till it is passed down to the ultimate heir.
Once the firearm is secured, it needs to be given to the rightful heir. For many testators, a document is prepared with specific directives for the succession of the gun. The testator might have directed for the gun to be given to a beneficiary, or get sold for a certain amount.
These two are options a fiduciary can exploit, but additionally, it remains upon the fiduciary to determine the best way to distribute the firearm depending on the circumstances.
At times, the fiduciary might avoid giving the heir the firearm, but change their mind if the heir gets upset for not being given the chance.
Selling the Firearm
If the best option is to sell the firearm, then the fiduciary needs to take a few steps to determine the value of the firearm. Scenarios have been seen whereby a fiduciary mistakenly sold a $20,000 firearm for just $1,000. To this end, the fiduciary needs to use a gun value guide to determine how much the guns needs to be floated on the market for. Remember there needs to be substantial evidence to justify the price.The fiduciary can opt to work with a licensed dealer that will buy the gun and provide all the documentations to show that the transfer was actually made, and prove that the firearm is no longer under the control of the fiduciary.
Having a Heir in Another State
What happens if the beneficiary is in another state? The fiduciary needs to come up with the best way to get the firearm to the beneficiary.There are various ways to get the firearm to the intended recipient. First, the fiduciary can ship the gun to the licensed dealer in the next state. He can also use a dealer in the parent state to send the firearm to a dealer in the destination state.
For restricted firearms, the fiduciary needs to determine whether the recipient is licensed to handle the firearm or is prohibited. It is prohibited to transfer the firearm to a person who is in a federal corrections facility, or is convicted of a felony that involves a shooting.
Apart from securing the firearm, the fiduciary needs to determine if the firearm was registered to the owner. If the firearm wasn’t registered, then it will be confiscated. If the firearm was registered, then it much be transferred to the beneficiary. This means that the fiduciary cannot pass the gun to the beneficiary until it has been registered in his name.
The LowdownGuns are a hot topic across all states, and it is a topic that has to be taken seriously. As a fiduciary, you can enlist the services of an estate planning lawyer to make sure you secure and distribute the firearm the best way.