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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:32 pm 
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Silent But Deadly

Joined: Sun May 26, 2013 10:01 pm
Posts: 449
T-Rex wrote:
Buck Nekkid wrote:
So, say, I don't want just anyone disposing of my very first service weapon. Instead of money, could I just list my S&W model 28 .357 magnum serial #yadayada on my Schedule a and that would suffice. I'm submitting a form 1 for an sbr.

My understanding:
You would need to legally transfer the firearm into the Trust, for it to be owned by the Trust.

I put a $1 bill as my 1st item on the schedule A. Now the Trust has content with a clear monetary value.


My trust was set up by an attorney and got money ($10.00) by way of language in the trust outside of Schedule A. As I've bought stuff over the years, I would list them on Schedule A when I got my stamp. I did go through a gun dealer once that said he always put the item on the trust before sending to ATF, not after and receiving the stamp as I have done. It seems as far as ATF is concerned in issuing a stamp, it doesn't matter.


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BulletFlight for Android
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:41 am 
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New Member

Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:58 am
Posts: 1
This is still showing up in google search results and answers are all over the place. Let me clarify the reality:

Form 4 authoritatively identifies the device being registered and who the owner will be upon approval (your trust). Your trust agreement is not the document of record for either of these things. Your original trust agreement along with any amendments (which you submit to the ATF with Form 4) serves only two purposes in this process - it provides evidence your trust exists and it identifies all the trustees who each need to submit a form 23. The BATFE never needs to see a current list of property owned by the trust unless for some shitty reason your shitty trust agreement specifies that you need to use trust agreement amendments to add and remove property (see notes).

Note 1
A properly written trust agreement will loosely-couple the property list from the trust agreement. Think about it like an LLC's operating agreement - you don't need to update the operating agreement every time the LLC acquires a new fleet truck. Same thing here. The agreement outlines authorities and the high-level processes by which the entity acquires and disposes of property. The agreement itself should not be used as the authoritative record for owned property.

Note 2
Let's review some contract management 101 stuff here - any schedule or exhibit that was part of an executed and notarized document set is frozen at the time of execution. The accepted method of updating a contract is through an amending agreement explicitly stating the changes, and executed by relevant parties and in this case notarized. Outside of that process modifications done in a vacuum do nothing. Trying to modify an executed trust agreement after the fact without going through the proper amendment process would be no more valid than me modifying my mortgage agreement without getting all involved parties to sign off on it. If you want to jump through the proper amendment hoops every time you add property or remove property from the trust, you can, but it would be silly to do so for reasons stated in Note 3. Again, contract basics here (a trust agreement is just a contract between settlor and trustee(s) and the conventions of contracts are the same).

Note 3
Using a trust agreement amendment process to manage property records is silly because 1) a properly written agreement will avoid any confusion about this being required; 2) it's an enormous privacy violation to disclose your trust's current property in its entirety to the BATFE, making it a matter of record and potentially inviting questions; 3) and this is the big one - the BATFE regs don't require you to submit a current property list. Anywhere.

Note 4
Both the silencerco and guntrustlawyer templates contain language that freezes schedule A at the point of agreement origination and outline the process by which the settlor can add or remove property via records outside of the trust agreement. In these models, you wouldn't modify Schedule A after you executed the agreement, and you damn sure wouldn't list the silencer you itemized on form 4 in it. Schedule A (or equiv) in these agreements explicitly describes property invested into the trust at the time of the trust's creation and that's it. These are both good templates and worth the money. A local lawyer familiar with your state trust requirements will always be the best option.

So in short, OP is right. We all know the BATFE will approve device registrations with some pretty shitty trust agreements accompanying Form 4, but that's not the test of your trust's validity. It's probably accurate to say the reviewing agent doesn't give a s--t about how well your trust agreement will stand up in court. The acid test is your state court, probate, and your angry beneficiaries' lawyers. If your trust agreement does not provide for managing property records independent of the agreement you have to submit to the BATFE, you have two choices: have a lawyer review and restate terms via an amending document to clarify the purpose of Sch. A (a few hundred dollars), or set up a new one correctly and transfer your NFA items to it (potentially very expensive). Read note 3.2, 3.3 again.


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