Estate planning with a firearm? You might need a trust

Few people in Georgia give much thought to their firearms when creating an estate plan, but they could be overlooking an important issue. Estate planning can not only protect the passing of a firearm to an heir, but doing it correctly can also keep heirs out of trouble with the law. Many firearms and other weapons are heavily regulated, and it is not enough to simply leave things up to chance.

Gun trusts provide important legal protections for gun owners and their heirs. This is particularly true when it comes to passing on Title II weapons. These include things like automatic machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, suppressors and more. Individuals who are not careful when transferring ownership of these items can be in violation of federal law. Instead of using a will to pass on a Title II weapon, gun owners should consider the benefits of the gun trust.

A revocable trust is often a good choice in these situations. The creator of the trust — the grantor — can title the gun in the name of the trust, and then continue to manage it during his or her lifetime. He or she can also amend the trust and make changes as needed, an option that is not available to those who create irrevocable trusts. While irrevocable trusts can be a good idea for some people, many gun owners prefer revocable trusts, which are a bit more versatile in nature.

For gun owners, passing on a firearm is an important matter. Estate planning can help facilitate not only an effective passage, but also a legal one. Georgia gun owners who want to make sure their heirs receive their proper inheritances should be certain to consider the different estate planning tools — such as wills and trusts — that can help them accomplish this goal.

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