A study group consisting of gun and trust attorneys began meeting at my office last month, in order to look at issues pertaining to gun trusts sitused in California, with the aim of making them more safe and effective. In bringing together experts from the two fields, the group has already succeeded in uncovering several issues of first impression, including one of great concern which is the subject of this article and this warning:
WARNING: THERE IS SOME RISK THAT TRANSFER OF FIREARM(S) INTO A JOINT REVOCABLE TRUST, WHETHER A COMMON LIVING TRUST FOR ESTATE PLANNING OR A SPECIALLY DRAFTED GUN TRUST, MAY BE A CRIME PUNISHABLE AS A MISDEMEANOR, OR POSSIBLY EVEN FELONY.
RECOMMENDATION: While further research is necessary, some of the subissues involved are interminably grey, and this is obviously not an area that is now or likely ever to be an enforcement priority, we are concerned enough to issue this warning and to advise our clients, as a general rule, to document firearms as separate property and then transfer the firearms only to sole settlor trusts, specially drafted as limited asset gun trusts for holding firearms and accessories, and not used for general estate planning. (Most common estate planning trusts in California are joint trusts.)
Copyright © 2013 David R. Duringer, Prof. Corp.
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