Can I use a Free Gun Trust That I Got at a Gun Shop?
This is not recommended. First, gun shops giving out gun trust forms may be guilty of the unauthorized practice of law. In addition, the “free” gun trusts are often poorly drafted, they typically contain little to no guidance to assist the successor trustee in administration, and they could result in an invalid trust. If the trust is invalid, then the transfer is invalid as well, and that subjects the owner to potential criminal liability and fines. At the very least, the owner will have to pay significant legal fees to rectify the situation.
Can I Just Use the Living Trust That Is Part of My Estate Planning?
This is not recommended. Most living trusts are not drafted with the aim of owning N.F.A. firearms and are therefore inappropriate for doing so. Weakness of living trusts include lack of guidance for transfer to a beneficiary or for an unexpected revocation of the trust, which could result in an unauthorized transfer of the firearm and/or transfer to a prohibited person.
Should I get a Florida gun trust before or after acquiring a N.F.A/Class 3 item?
The best approach is to form a gun trust before acquiring your first N.F.A./Class 3 item. Otherwise, if you form the trust after, then you will likely pay the ATF transfer fee of $200 a second time (first to acquire in your name, then again to transfer from your name into the name of the trust) on any items that you originally acquired in your personal name. That being said, if you already have N.F.A. item(s) in your personal name, the sooner you form the trust the better so that future N.F.A. items acquired will be registered only in the name of the trust.
Can I add non-N.F.A. firearms to an N.F.A. Florida gun trust?
Potentially, yes. The trust can be drafted so as to allow for ownership of not only N.F.A firearms but also non-N.F.A. firearms, too.
How long does it take to have a Florida gun trust drafted?
We typically have a gun trust ready for the client to sign within about 7-10 days after our initial meeting. That being said, we can make accommodations for clients needing their trust drafted more quickly.