NFA Trusts

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I offer a comprehensive NFA Trust instrument customized to your needs for a flat-fee of $100 which includes free updates, changes, and questions.

If you are already familiar with the benefits of an NFA Trust, then feel free to contact me to discuss your needs.

If you are not sure why you might want to use a trust to start your NFA collection, then I hope I can help answer your questions.

Why Should I Use an NFA Trust?

I am often asked why a person would need or want to form a trust in order to acquire NFA items rather than simply acquiring them as individuals.  I will try to answer this question by discussing the many benefits an NFA trust provides.

Avoidance of Probate

From an estate planning perspective, having your NFA assets in a trust allows them to avoid probate and pass seamlessly to your beneficiaries tax-free on a Form 5.

Ability to Use Expedited Probate on Your Regular Estate

In Virginia, there are special proceedings for small estates that allow heirs or decedents to avoid formal probate proceedings (see § 64.2-601 and  § 64.2-601).  However, in the ATF guidance regarding estates containing individually-owned NFA items, we see this:

“For registered NFA firearms in the estate, the executor should take action as soon as possible to arrange for the proper registration of the firearms. Possession of an NFA firearm not registered to the possessor is a violation of Federal law and the firearm is subject to seizure and forfeiture. However, we do allow the executor a reasonable time to arrange for the transfer of the registered firearms in a decedent’s estate. This generally should be done before probate is closed.

Since Form 4 and Form 5 transfers are currently taking a minimum of 9 months (and in some cases more than a year), having an individually-owned NFA item in your estate would make it difficult or impossible to take advantage of these expedited processes.

Provide for Transfer to Minors

If any of the beneficiaries are under the age where they may legally possess the NFA items, then the trust will continue to hold the assets until such time as the beneficiary may legally take possession.

Provide Contingencies in Case a Beneficiary Becomes a Prohibited Person

In addition, the trust contains instructions on how a successor trustee is to handle beneficiary distribution in the case that one of more beneficiaries becomes a disqualified person.

Avoid Being Required to Qualify an Executor in Some Cases

Virginia does not generally require an Executor or Administrator to be qualified if the estate is $50,000 or less.  However, if the estate contains an individually owned NFA item then you will have to go through the process in order for the Executor to have the necessary powers to transfer the items to heirs.

Asset Protection Benefits

That brings us to our next benefit.  People often forget that, if not handled very carefully, NFA items can easily become contraband when held by an individual who passes away or becomes a disqualified person.  And when an NFA item becomes contraband, it can never again be legally transferred; the value of the item is simply lost.

By holding your NFA items in a properly formed trust that is specifically focused on the protection of the assets in the trust, you insure that the value of your items is protected for your beneficiaries.

Expanded Usability of Your NFA Item

And let’s not forget about the fun of actually using your NFA items.  Under a strict reading of the law, you place yourself and others in legal jeopardy if an individual owner allows someone else to possess their NFA items.

However, when a properly structured trust owns the NFA items, all current trustees may possess them.  Trustees may also designate those they shoot with as temporary beneficiaries.  This allows the trustees to permit those temporary beneficiaries to use the NFA item while in their presence.

I also offer a flyer which outlines the benefits in a concise one-page format.

Do You Offer Support After the Trust is Completed?

Absolutely!  In addition to the initial development of the trust, the $100 flat fee gives you access to the following support services free of charge:

  • I will add or remove trustees and beneficiaries for you at any time.
  • I will assist you in completing Form 4’s or Form 20’s.
  • I will assist you with eForm submissions.
  • I will keep your Schedule of Assets up to date.
  • I will answer any questions you might have about NFA regulations.

I am Ready to Get Started!

If you are interested in an NFA trust, please visit my 3 Simple Steps to an NFA Trust page and follow the instructions there.

Note:  I am currently only licensed to practice law in Virginia and therefore, I can only develop trust instruments for clients in Virginia.

What previous clients are saying

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