Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

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rimshaker
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Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by rimshaker » Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:06 am

This isn't about sleazy lawyer sales pitches any more. With 41P issues still hovering around, serious would-be NFA owners should think twice about trying to save a few bucks.

There might come a time where somebody decides to try and poke holes in all those Quicken/Internet template/DIY trusts out there.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/ ... trust.html

http://www.guntrustlawyer.com/2014/08/n ... trust.html

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by danb35 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:57 am

I'm an attorney. I believe that folks who want a gun trust would be well-advised to consult in-person with an attorney who knows estate planning, knows the NFA, and can advise them as to how best to implement their goals. I believe the NFA dealers who are preparing trusts for their customers are doing them a disservice, not to mention practicing law without a license. I believe Nolo's concerns are valid, in that the "typical" gun trust is different in a number of ways from the "typical" living trust.

But all of that said...

Trusts are not rocket surgery. Creating a legally-valid trust doesn't take very much. Creating a trust that will pass ATF review doesn't take much, though the "not much" for ATF isn't the same "not much" that your state needs for the trust to be valid. As long as you follow the rules (e.g., you can't be the grantor, the only trustee, and the only beneficiary; the trust must own something; the document has to be executed with the appropriate formalities), the chances that your trust will be retroactively invalidated are just about nil.

The reason to go for a purpose-created NFA trust over a generic living trust, and for a trust drafted by a lawyer after consultation with you over a "fill-in-the-blank" template, is to have the best chance of the trust actually doing what you want it to do. There's an awful lot of flexibility with trusts, which is why the correct answer to just about every "How do I do X with my trust" question is, "it depends on what your trust says."

Here's one example: It's been pretty much standard practice in living trusts to list the trust's assets on a "schedule A", and to update that schedule with anything new the trust acquired or disposed of. There's nothing magical about the name of "schedule A", and no legal reason that the trust has to have a single document listing all its property, but that was a practice that worked well for living trusts. With gun trusts, though, a lot of gun owners don't like the idea of giving ATF a list of all their guns. David Goldman's solution to this is to use separate assignment pages, rather than a schedule A, and only send ATF the assignment page that relates to the item you're registering. It's a perfectly legal, perfectly valid way to address a legitimate client concern. Note that I'm not saying he created this idea; I just know he uses it.

Though I am a lawyer, I'm not giving legal advice here. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney licensed in your state with experience in these matters.

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by Morgan » Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:57 pm

I spoke with two lawyers familiar with nfa and trust laws prior to submitting my trusts. Both agreed there is little or no risk to ready-made trusts if they cover basics. If the atf approves them then they're approved. The atf doesn't determine what a legal trust is but if they, for example, make a rule that states "nfa trusts must contain XYZ" then you can simply re-do your trust document to address the situation. Something comes up that isn't covered by your trust? Simply re-do your trust to cover the situation.

I'm no lawyer, but no good lawyer will tell you he can make a trust for you that will cover everything. Seems like standard disclaimer material to me. I don't get all the fear mongering about trusts. If your trust missed something, change it and problem solved.

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by dtom29 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:18 am

Any Trust is about property, house, car, gun, it doesn't matter. The only thing you gain from a lawyer made "NFA" trust is handling specifics. This is nothing you can't do by adding a letter in the envelope with the trust. Doesn't hurt to add forms for example also. Nobody that used a Lawyer will be happy till they convince everyone else that they were the sharpest tool in the box. The rest of us just don't give a s--t what those of you that want a lawyer do. Just don't bullshit the new guys. Quicken Trusts work (yes, mine was vetted by a Lawyer during unrelated business), Lawyer trusts work, If you feel better using a Lawyer then by all means use one. I've always said this is about having fun and enjoying yourself so do what makes you feel comfortable just don't bullshit the new guys.

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by ick » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:25 am

Here we go with this conversation again. Why on earth people buy thousands of dollars of guns, spend thousands of dollars on optics at the drop of a hat... and buy every new toy that comes on the market... and then suddenly get all chincy and cheap when it comes to legal paperwork is beyond me.

Spend A FEW MEASLY DOLLARS and get a professional involved. Go sell more product, chop down more trees, stop smoking for 6 months, or stay later at work on Tuesday to have the cash to pay for it. At a minimum at least it gets you someone that can answer questions. Fine, use the exact same trust language for your NEXT purchase and rip-off the attorney's language.... but why not go the extra mile the FIRST time? Go through the exercise.

I don't change my own oil, I PAY a guy to do it and while he is at it I have him look everything over when he is under there in case THE PROFESSIONAL sees something that needs attention. I do the same thing for HIM when he comes to me for help.

Not only that, if you are someone who has a lot to lose... and don't we all fit that description.... why not the extra slice of assurance? Does everyone know the long ramifications of something done incorrectly? The inconvenience of something done half-assed? The ramifications of finding out that something is wrong AFTER the s--t hits the fan?

Unreal. What is the worst case scenario for spending a few hundred and seeing an attorney? A waste of a few hundred? Count yourself lucky.

What is the worst case scenario for a do-it-yourself job? Possibly significant, inconvenient, non-quantifiable consequences?

As always, your choice. Your risk. Your right. Have at it. The decision for me is easy.

I see people all the time that buy $500 tire rims and then fail to pay their $30 a month car insurance payment.... and they get to enjoy the consequences of their screwed-up priorities with no insurance. Their right I guess.
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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by dtom29 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:35 am

LOL, You asked the question...What it the possible out come...The same as with a Lawyer made Trust, exactly the same. Read my post again, Mine was checked by a lawyer, one you probably know since you live in the same town he does. and found to be perfectly legal.

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by L1A1Rocker » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:45 am

Morgan wrote:I don't get all the fear mongering about trusts. If your trust missed something, change it and problem solved.
It's all about the $$$$s. Quicken is taking $s away from trust lawyers.

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by L1A1Rocker » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:48 am

ick wrote:Here we go with this conversation again. Why on earth people buy thousands of dollars of guns, spend thousands of dollars on optics at the drop of a hat... and buy every new toy that comes on the market... and then suddenly get all chincy and cheap when it comes to legal paperwork is beyond me.

Spend A FEW MEASLY DOLLARS and get a professional involved. Go sell more product, chop down more trees, stop smoking for 6 months, or stay later at work on Tuesday to have the cash to pay for it. At a minimum at least it gets you someone that can answer questions. Fine, use the exact same trust language for your NEXT purchase and rip-off the attorney's language.... but why not go the extra mile the FIRST time? Go through the exercise.

I don't change my own oil, I PAY a guy to do it and while he is at it I have him look everything over when he is under there in case THE PROFESSIONAL sees something that needs attention. I do the same thing for HIM when he comes to me for help.

Not only that, if you are someone who has a lot to lose... and don't we all fit that description.... why not the extra slice of assurance? Does everyone know the long ramifications of something done incorrectly? The inconvenience of something done half-assed? The ramifications of finding out that something is wrong AFTER the s--t hits the fan?

Unreal. What is the worst case scenario for spending a few hundred and seeing an attorney? A waste of a few hundred? Count yourself lucky.

What is the worst case scenario for a do-it-yourself job? Possibly significant, inconvenient, non-quantifiable consequences?

As always, your choice. Your risk. Your right. Have at it. The decision for me is easy.

I see people all the time that buy $500 tire rims and then fail to pay their $30 a month car insurance payment.... and they get to enjoy the consequences of their screwed-up priorities with no insurance. Their right I guess.
What "risk" are you talking about in the second to last paragraph? You also ask: "Does everyone know the long ramifications of something done incorrectly?" Please, what are the ramifications you are talking about? And, can you give an example of those "ramifications" where someone has used an trust by Quicken or Legal Zoom?

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by dtom29 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:54 am

ick wrote:Here we go with this conversation again. Why on earth people buy thousands of dollars of guns, spend thousands of dollars on optics at the drop of a hat... and buy every new toy that comes on the market... and then suddenly get all chincy and cheap when it comes to legal paperwork is beyond me. There is a difference when you have a proven product that works
Spend A FEW MEASLY DOLLARS and get a professional involved. Go sell more product, chop down more trees, stop smoking for 6 months, or stay later at work on Tuesday to have the cash to pay for it. At a minimum at least it gets you someone that can answer questions. Fine, use the exact same trust language for your NEXT purchase and rip-off the attorney's language.... but why not go the extra mile the FIRST time? Go through the exercise.

I don't change my own oil, I do cause I CAN I PAY a guy to do it and while he is at it I have him look everything over when he is under there in case THE PROFESSIONAL sees something that needs attention. I do the same thing for HIM when he comes to me for help. I also wired my own house cause I CAN.Not only that, if you are someone who has a lot to lose... and don't we all fit that description.... why not the extra slice of assurance? Don't need it because the Quicken Trust is a PROVEN product. Does everyone know the long ramifications of something done incorrectly? The inconvenience of something done half-assed? The ramifications of finding out that something is wrong AFTER the s--t hits the fan?

Unreal. What is the worst case scenario for spending a few hundred and seeing an attorney? A waste of a few hundred? Count yourself lucky.

What is the worst case scenario for a do-it-yourself job? Possibly significant, inconvenient, non-quantifiable consequences?

As always, your choice. Your risk. Your right. Have at it. The decision for me is easy.

I see people all the time that buy $500 tire rims and then fail to pay their $30 a month car insurance payment.... and they get to enjoy the consequences of their screwed-up priorities with no insurance. Their right I guess.
Whats unreal is that just because you feel better using a Lawyer then ALL of us have to use a Lawyer....And get someone to change our oil....you talk like a Liberal!

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by dtom29 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:04 am

danb35 wrote:I'm an attorney. I believe that folks who want a gun trust would be well-advised to consult in-person with an attorney who knows estate planning, knows the NFA, and can advise them as to how best to implement their goals. I believe the NFA dealers who are preparing trusts for their customers are doing them a disservice, not to mention practicing law without a license. I believe Nolo's concerns are valid, in that the "typical" gun trust is different in a number of ways from the "typical" living trust.

But all of that said...

Trusts are not rocket surgery. Creating a legally-valid trust doesn't take very much. Creating a trust that will pass ATF review doesn't take much, though the "not much" for ATF isn't the same "not much" that your state needs for the trust to be valid. As long as you follow the rules (e.g., you can't be the grantor, the only trustee, and the only beneficiary; the trust must own something; the document has to be executed with the appropriate formalities), the chances that your trust will be retroactively invalidated are just about nil.

The reason to go for a purpose-created NFA trust over a generic living trust, and for a trust drafted by a lawyer after consultation with you over a "fill-in-the-blank" template, is to have the best chance of the trust actually doing what you want it to do. There's an awful lot of flexibility with trusts, which is why the correct answer to just about every "How do I do X with my trust" question is, "it depends on what your trust says."

Here's one example: It's been pretty much standard practice in living trusts to list the trust's assets on a "schedule A", and to update that schedule with anything new the trust acquired or disposed of. There's nothing magical about the name of "schedule A", and no legal reason that the trust has to have a single document listing all its property, but that was a practice that worked well for living trusts. With gun trusts, though, a lot of gun owners don't like the idea of giving ATF a list of all their guns. David Goldman's solution to this is to use separate assignment pages, rather than a schedule A, and only send ATF the assignment page that relates to the item you're registering. It's a perfectly legal, perfectly valid way to address a legitimate client concern. Note that I'm not saying he created this idea; I just know he uses it.

Though I am a lawyer, I'm not giving legal advice here. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney licensed in your state with experience in these matters.
This always made me laugh. An NFA Trust should only contain your NFA items...which have to be approved by the ATF...which have a list of your approved items. So who are you hiding them from?

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by ick » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:39 pm

Clearly.... clearly.... there are inept lawyers and bad advice. So no gun trust lawyer ever has anything to bring to the table to justify the expense, ever, under all circumstances? I KNOW you are not suggesting that.

I have enough personal experience with people giving themselves "sage" legal advice or using a "free" service. This falls squarely in that same category. Been there many times with do-it-yourselfers. It is your option, be my guest.

This topic has already been beaten to death several times. Here is an example:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=88513&p=783996&hilit=trust#p783996

I have also observed posts on here about improper trust names, state specific trust law issues, and lost trust documents due to fire or poor record keeping. At least if you have an attorney they SHOULD have a copy of your lost trust. Can an attorney bring ANYTHING to the table to earn the measly fee? For some people? NO. Never.

I should have just posted a link to that thread. I have personal experience with a "self written trust" that screwed up family members trying to settle an estate.... and grandpa's intentions in his half-assed trust could not be followed. Wasn't a gun trust, but the same problem follows. How is that for a bad potential outcome that really happened? He did not follow Pennsylvania trust law. I will say one thing about that case, he didn't care that the trust was garbage. He was already dead.

I can change my own oil as well, that is not the issue. Neither is the $500. The $500 is immaterial. Most gun guys I know blow that on bad purchases or accessories they thought they needed and never use... yet the willingly wander in to a legal area where they KNOW they have very little knowledge? Doesn't sound wise to me.

I doubt there has been much "testing" of any trusts, let alone improper trust issues. What percentage of NFA items are even in a trust... let alone issues related white collar firearm ownership? How many cases on such a small segment of firearm ownership rise to the level of published incidents? Probably none, ever. Doesn't mean it won't happen.

Perhaps one of our resident attorneys can come up with some examples from case law.

Point is, I don't want to be the test case... and I also want someone that is going to give me sage advice. I have had plenty of experience with witnessing self-lawyer-ing. No thanks.
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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by rimshaker » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:19 pm

I've only been in the NFA game a few years. But when I was learning all I can in the beginning, the mentality that always dumbfounded me was when folks blurt out "been doing this for xx years, nothing bad has ever happened, or will happen... screw the lawyers." Seriously?!

If you already have a DIY trust that's been working, great, stick with it. But for anyone just getting started, my intention was to simply show the "better safe than sorry" path. Especially in light of current 41P trust-related issues.

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by danb35 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:29 pm

dtom29 wrote:
danb35 wrote:With gun trusts, though, a lot of gun owners don't like the idea of giving ATF a list of all their guns.
This always made me laugh. An NFA Trust should only contain your NFA items...which have to be approved by the ATF...which have a list of your approved items. So who are you hiding them from?
Why should a gun trust (you'll note I didn't say "NFA trust") contain only NFA items? Can't a trust reasonably be crafted to handle both Title I and Title II firearms? I believe it can, but I'll certainly consider arguments to the contrary.

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by dtom29 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:43 am

danb35 wrote:
dtom29 wrote:
danb35 wrote:With gun trusts, though, a lot of gun owners don't like the idea of giving ATF a list of all their guns.
This always made me laugh. An NFA Trust should only contain your NFA items...which have to be approved by the ATF...which have a list of your approved items. So who are you hiding them from?
Why should a gun trust (you'll note I didn't say "NFA trust") contain only NFA items? Can't a trust reasonably be crafted to handle both Title I and Title II firearms? I believe it can, but I'll certainly consider arguments to the contrary.
I was talking about an NFA Trust, and I referred to an NFA trust, correct? But to your question, I have never heard of anyone combining the two types of weapons into one trust. Why would you confuse the issue? The instructions/ restructions in an NFA trust (Lawyer added or added by letter) would only become confusing to the beneficiaries. You could also add your house and car...but why? Every arguement against listing firearms in the Schedule"A" that I have read has been specifically about NFA items. One argument against combining Title I and Title II items in one Trust is to avoid listing Title I items on the Schedule"A" that is submitted to the ATF...If you want your Title I guns in a Trust then have a separate Trust. Whats another $500? and get your oil changed... :roll:

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by dtom29 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:21 am

rimshaker wrote:I've only been in the NFA game a few years. But when I was learning all I can in the beginning, the mentality that always dumbfounded me was when folks blurt out "been doing this for xx years, nothing bad has ever happened, or will happen... screw the lawyers." Seriously?!

If you already have a DIY trust that's been working, great, stick with it. But for anyone just getting started, my intention was to simply show the "better safe than sorry" path. Especially in light of current 41P trust-related issues.
Since 41P only requires the Trust principals to be fingerprinted, photographed, and have CLEO signoff just what are the issues you're referring to? What part of 41P will cause DIY trusts to have problems that Lawyer Trusts won't have? I guess since there are thousands of "DIY" Trusts out there working just fine the well intentioned "going to show a better safe than sorry path" people like you were the ones I was referring to when I said "quit bullshitting the new guys"! You Lawyer guys all spent your money, good, now relax and be happy. We didn't and we are relaxed and happy. I think the problem is YOU can't handle spending the money and feel you can only justify it by telling me I'm going to hell. Typical liberal thought process....

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by rimshaker » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:01 am

dtom29 wrote:
rimshaker wrote:I've only been in the NFA game a few years. But when I was learning all I can in the beginning, the mentality that always dumbfounded me was when folks blurt out "been doing this for xx years, nothing bad has ever happened, or will happen... screw the lawyers." Seriously?!

If you already have a DIY trust that's been working, great, stick with it. But for anyone just getting started, my intention was to simply show the "better safe than sorry" path. Especially in light of current 41P trust-related issues.
Since 41P only requires the Trust principals to be fingerprinted, photographed, and have CLEO signoff just what are the issues you're referring to? What part of 41P will cause DIY trusts to have problems that Lawyer Trusts won't have? I guess since there are thousands of "DIY" Trusts out there working just fine the well intentioned "going to show a better safe than sorry path" people like you were the ones I was referring to when I said "quit bullshitting the new guys"! You Lawyer guys all spent your money, good, now relax and be happy. We didn't and we are relaxed and happy. I think the problem is YOU can't handle spending the money and feel you can only justify it by telling me I'm going to hell. Typical liberal thought process....
How is anyone to predict what Trust issues could possibly arise in the future? That's the whole premise of the "better safe than sorry" saying. Sure, perhaps this 41P won't specifically cause issues for DIY trusts. But did anyone see 41P coming?? Or what if the ATF suddenly decides to add other trust restrictions to the final ruling? How about Executive decisions? Nobody knows everything, or what's to come in the future. Lawyers aren't perfect (hell no!)... but if going through a professional might lessen the hassles of having to do any patchwork/modifications/rewrites on my legal document should something come up, then I'm all for it. Better than being complacent and simply calling everything else bullshit.

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by dtom29 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:33 pm

I agree, no one knows the future... so NO ONE knows that a Quicken style Trust will be any better or worse than a Lawyer Trust for all the reasons you stated. Thank you for making my case. If I need a Lawyer I have one, the same one that looked over my Quicken Trust and said it was a legal Trust. In the end you're just hoping that spending the extra money "MIGHT lesson the hassles". If it makes you feel better then thats great. I, and thousands like me have had the same amount of trouble with a DIY trust as you have had with your Lawyer Trust...none. Thats the bottom line.

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by mew » Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:24 pm

"But all of that said...

Trusts are not rocket surgery. Creating a legally-valid trust doesn't take very much. Creating a trust that will pass ATF review doesn't take much, though the "not much" for ATF isn't the same "not much" that your state needs for the trust to be valid. As long as you follow the rules (e.g., you can't be the grantor, the only trustee, and the only beneficiary; the trust must own something; the document has to be executed with the appropriate formalities), the chances that your trust will be retroactively invalidated are just about nil."

Finally someone posts the truth about Trusts. And a Lawyer to boot.............. Kudo's to you counselor.
The biggest part I see with people and their "gun trusts" is having multiple "trustees",
Instead of a Grantor, who is THE trustee, and the beneficiaries. And then putting a $1 on the schedule A and not funding the trust with a tangible asset such as a bank account, brokerage account something of value(not just a gun, silencer or other NFA item)
This was not what trusts were designed to be, and is certainly THE way to make it look as if you are trying to be somehow clever. As the counselor states it is NOT rocket science in creating a proper, legal, enforceable revocable trust, just be smart and do it correctly which is FUND IT. One caveat for the need of a separate "gun trust" might be if you truly have TENS of thousands invested in NFA, which your average guy most likely doesn't have. I truly believe this is the heart of the Gubmints objection and the entire crux of the trust controversy BS that is currently going on in the NFA world.

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by m1garand30064 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:27 am

The fear mongering really gets old. In my opinion it is just another symptom of an endemic problem. There are too many lawyers and too few jobs for them. Know someone who wants to go to law school? Have them look at the job board and placement rates at the law schools they are accepted at before making a tuition payment.
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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by ranb » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:21 am

It kills me that anyone would say it is only a few bucks to create a trust.

I see prices of 100-900 online; I was quoted $2500 by one lawyer who was not familiar with NFA trusts/law. I was told to seek out a well known group from this forum who wanted the top price on their list to amend my revocable living trust. Why does anyone need $900/hour for so little work?

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Re: Nolo Says Don't Create A Gun Trust With Their Products

Post by srs » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:39 am

This horse is dead. Please stop beating him.

Those that have the money to spend and want to do so, please do.

Those that have the time, or don't have much money, please read and understand the trust law in your state. Read the NFA rules. Do LOTS of research. Write up an example trust and make sure it addresses the usage and transfer of NFA items. If you have a lawyer friend ask them to look it over for errors. If you don't have a lawyer friend, see if a nearby law school professor will look it over. Once you are satisfied that using the document won't put you in the federal prison system, by all means use it.

In other words, use which ever method makes YOU comfortable. Arguments on an internet forum will change VERY FEW minds.

/rant off.

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