Anyone with insight about making a "trust"

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Andy Cole
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Anyone with insight about making a "trust"

Post by Andy Cole » Thu Apr 29, 2021 5:11 am

What opinions, good or bad, do you have about creating a "Trust".

Is it worth the trouble and extra expense? My wife is not on board with my hobbies and collections. She endures them but has zero interest.
I asked her if she would be willing to go get fingerprinted so I could put her on the trust, and she replied "I don't want this stuff."
She is not rude about it. We have an amazing marriage and relationship, so please don't turn this into something it's not. She just leaves stuff like this to me. She endures my firearm dealings but has zero interest in it.
I politely reminded her that she would like the money that she could make from it, but I would like for it to be held until my children are old enough to take legal possession. She said she would go get the fingerprint cards, but she would do it just because I asked her to.

I have a brother and a nephew who are willing to be put on the trust.
I am the executive vice chair for our town museum. Can I put the museum on the trust, so that the item(s) could be displayed at the museum?

Can a trust be written by me, or does it have to be written by an attorney?

Any insight would be helpful.
1943 Willys MB285433 D.O.D. 12-3-1943
1951 M100 trailer D.O.D. 3/51
1951 M37 Truck D.O.D. 5-28-1951
Wife D.O.D 7-21-1979
Boy D.O.D. 2-15-2007
Girl D.O.D. 4-9-2009
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Re: Anyone with insight about making a "trust"

Post by leadfarmer » Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:44 am

Trusts used to be the best way to acquire NFA items when they made the process simpler than applying as an individual. The rules changed that so they have lost some of their allure, but still have benefits aside from the upfront cost.

Here are the current reasons to use a trust from 199Trust:

-Allows others to handle/store/use your Trust property (Co-Trustees)
-Degree of Separation
-Long term flexibility and ability to make changes
-Define a beneficiary distribution plan
-Beneficiaries of a Trust will be able to take distribution of Trust assets without having to pay for another tax stamp when that transfer takes place (via ATF form 5)

If you're going to have one drawn up from scratch, it is best to have a lawyer in your state who specializes in NFA Trusts write it. Your state's 2A advocacy organization (like a state level NRA group) or your state's firearm enthusiast forum should be able to direct you to a resource. I know the "custom" trusts that my friends have run $800-$1200. The cheap route is $200 here: and they are basically putting your info into a template they have that is unique to your state. I'm not sure what benefit you get with a custom drafted trust over a generic one, other than some piece of mind. Just make sure it is NFA specific.

Your wife doesn't have to be a co-trustee person on the trust, she can just be listed as the beneficiary (unless she is going to be taking your items out without you there). The beneficiary doesn't have to do the fingerprints or anything when buying/making NFA items until it comes time to take possession of the items because something happened to you, and then they would transfer for free (one time deal when an NFA owner dies). That still won't help your wife handle and sell your NFA items. I am fortunate to have many friends who are owners of NFA items, and one is a FFL/SOT, so they will be there when I'm gone most likely and able to help guide the beneficiary listed on my NFA trust. Make sure your wife knows who to consult with when you're gone.

Regarding the museum being on the trust, you would have to speak with a lawyer about that. Just guessing, but I think the best bet is to display an item but keep it in your control, such as under lock and key which only you have access to some how, yet still on display. Just brainstorming here.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or NFA expert, just a hobbyist, and everything here is just my current understanding of things and not guaranteed to be fact.

Ed Roberts
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Re: Anyone with insight about making a "trust"

Post by Ed Roberts » Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:52 am

Andy, I just completed one in California and I would not recommend trying to do it yourself. I used an trust attorney who is also a notary, which saved me time and money. The primary purpose of a trust is to avoid probate fees to your heirs. I opted to pay the trust creation expense instead of them having to pay a lawyer down the road. The trust allows me (a revocable living trust) to specifically designate the recipient of all my militaria and firearms.
I am sure each state has some different requirements for trust creation, but I'd bet that the headaches and pitfalls of not doing it correctly are the same. As I bequeathed my home and property to the Gary Sinise Foundation, I wanted no questions later on. The deal I made with the attorney included all consultations (in-person/phone/emails) and follow-ups; preparation of all documents for bank/savings/retirement accounts and county property deed transfers. She included no future cost to me for any additions/deletions to the trust.
Cost to me was 1800.00 flat fee. I imagine anywhere outside California would be less. Good luck and good thinking. Hope this helps. Feel free to PM with any questions.

Best, Eddie
V/r Eddie
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Re: Anyone with insight about making a "trust"

Post by dpcd67 » Mon May 10, 2021 7:34 pm

Why is a trust needed: Upon your demise, she will get everything anyway. All she has to do is make one phone call to Rock Island Auctions, and they will do the rest. Including traveling and picking up all the "stuff". Other big auction houses might do the same, but RIA is the biggest I know of.
Including Class 3 items and MVs. They handle all the transfers too on NFA items.
This weekend they are selling Alexander Hamilton's pair of pistols; expect to get 1-3 mil$. Not the one he used with Burr.
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Re: Anyone with insight about making a "trust"

Post by parker007 » Mon May 10, 2021 8:58 pm

get a good lawyer involve wife and make intent known, or no way to know what will happen. i spent 200k on lawyers and fees to fix my parents not having a will. if trust is done correct you limit taxes.

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