If you are a hunter, gun collector, or gun owner in Minnesota, you will want to pay special attention to your firearms collection when it comes time to develop your estate plan. For some owners, it may be beneficial to create a gun trust so that you can more easily transfer your guns to new owners.
Question: What is the gun trust and how does it work?
A gun trust is a specific kind of revocable living trust. When you create this trust, you transfer your firearms to the trust to own. You also name a trustee who manages the trust and a beneficiary who can use the firearms owned by the trust or inherit them after you die.
Question: What makes a gun trust different than other living trusts?
A gun trust has specific provisions in it that allows anyone who owns or controls certain types of weapons to transfer them without having to meet specific legal requirements. For example, if you do not have a gun trust and you own a weapon that is restricted under the National Firearms Act, you must first obtain the approval of your local chief of police before you can transfer the firearm. With a gun trust, you can bypass this step and instead submit your transfer documentation to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Question: I already have a living trust, so can I use that as a gun trust?
No. An ordinary living trust does not have the provisions that allow you to legally transfer restricted firearms. If you create a trust and is deemed to be invalid, any transfers you make of such firearms through the trust might be illegal. You should always talk to your lawyer before you try to create a gun trust.