Back in January, TTAG posted a piece by FirearmConcierge on gun trusts. The author works as a gun dealer and has published several posts about firearms retail, pricing, and the business side of guns. The post we respond to today is “The Truth About Gun Trusts – and How Attorneys Lie to Get Your Money.” Although the author makes several accurate points—some about misleading advertising and another about the poor quality of trusts from gun dealers—the piece is primarily saturated with false statements . . .
To clear up a few points:
Boilerplate gun trusts
The author makes broad claims that all gun trust attorneys use boilerplate language. Truth: Some attorneys use customized legal documents specifically crafted for each grantor and with detailed instructions for the trustees and beneficiaries named in the trust. (Our lawyers at Southern Gun Law Group are part of a national network—GunDocx™ Lawyers—who use trust documents that address the trust creator’s specific goals.)
Perhaps the author experienced poor service by an inexperienced or careless attorney. However, a growing number of lawyers are available who are knowledgeable about both trusts and gun laws, and create custom gun trusts that address specific legal issues associated with NFA (and non-NFA) items to be owned by the trust. What about protean state and federal laws affecting gun ownership? Gun trust attorneys ensure trusts address these issues.
Gun trusts offer no power
The author acknowledges one gun trust benefit, the ability to bypass a Chief Law Enforcement Officer’s signature, Yet the author makes another unsupported claim that gun trusts provide no power to owners. Truth: Gun trusts afford several powers to owners which, beside the power to amend and revoke the trust, include avoiding probate at death, designating specific guns to specific individuals, enjoying confidential transfers, and appointing authorized users to freely and legally use noted firearms.
Estate planning and gun law are not related
The author states, “wills, trusts and estate law and gun law could not be farther apart in the legal field.” Truth: Gun trusts provide clear instructions for the legal management or disposition of firearms upon the death or incapacity of the trust creator. Without the structure of a proper gun trust, individuals who transfer or “inherit” may very well find themselves on the wrong end of the law.
One notable accuracy in FirearmsConcierge’s piece is the advice to research before deciding on what gun trust is right for you. With a gun trust, as with many things, you normally “get what you pay for.” As a responsible gun owner, make sure to do your due diligence and chose an experienced attorney who will not only draft a custom trust, but provide detailed instructions and assistance. The truth about gun trust attorneys is that we’re out there and we help firearms owners every day.