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 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 submit my NFA Trust Questionnaire and I will contact you to complete the process.
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
I am a very critical google reviewer. I rarely leave good reviews. Mr Pierce deserves more than five stars ! It was the most pleasant experience that I have ever had with a lawyer. He is more than he promises. A competent knowledgeable lawyer and a true gentleman who makes you feel at ease. A SIX (6) STAR REVIEW for Mr Pierce.
February 2, 2019
Mr. Pierce was very professional. He is very detail oriented and thoroughly explained each step of the process of reinstatement from which documents I needed to obtain, to how the hearing would proceed and the questions I would need to answer. He made the whole process much easier and less stressful than it could have been otherwise.
February 9, 2020