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The link between the National Firearms Act and estate planning

Are you one of the many Las Vegas residents who own firearms? If so, then you may already be aware of the National Firearms Act. You can pass on your weapons collection to loved ones after your death through proper estate planning. The prevailing advice is to create a gun trust in order to protect your rights and the rights of your heirs and beneficiaries in relation to your weapons.

However, if you have yet to take advantage of the legal protections provided by a gun trust, you can still use other estate-planning tools to make the transfers after you pass away.

If you own your weapons as an individual

If you don't have a gun trust yet, you can still pass on your weapons. In order to so do, you would need to bequeath them in your will. You could encounter legal issues regarding handling matters in this way, so you may want to make sure that your bequests conform to current law.

During the probate process, the weapons will need to remain secured at your Form 4's safe location. They must stay there until the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives approves the transfer to the party or parties who inherited the weapons.

When your executor is ready to make distributions to those indicated in your will, the individuals receiving the weapons would need to fill out and file a Form 5 tax-free application with the ATF. Once the agency approves the transfer, it may be completed. Fortunately, your heirs will not have to obtain another tax stamp.

If a gun trust owns your weapons

If you decide to create a gun trust, the weapons will pass to beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes. In addition, you protect your weapons from any legislation in the future that could affect them for the next 365 years. Your weapons also receive protection from your spouse in the event of a divorce and from your creditors since the trust owns them, not you.

You can also include instructions in the trust regarding how to care for the weapons. This could help preserve their value. Using a gun trust could also protect everyone involved from inadvertently breaking state or federal laws regarding the ownership, possession and transfer of weapons.

Gun trusts need to be created properly in order to provide you and its beneficiaries with the legal protections you desire. For this reason, it would be in your best interests to discuss its creation with an attorney experienced in this type of trust and knowledgeable in all of the laws that apply to firearms.

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