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Old August 24, 2010, 12:17 PM   #1
MDS
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Self done NFA trust

I don't want to start a war here. How many folks have done there own NFA trust papers? Lawyers in my area want 600-1500$ I have forms. I know many people have done Quicken or other forms for a Revocable trust. Yes, this is to by-pass my CLEO.
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Old August 24, 2010, 12:35 PM   #2
paull
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I understand that I am not directly addressing your issue, but I decided to go the LLC route.
Seemed cheaper and has non-firearm related benefits.
It worked well for me.
Good luck!
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Old August 24, 2010, 03:04 PM   #3
Don H
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What are the consequences of an improperly written trust?
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Old August 24, 2010, 03:09 PM   #4
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I went the LLC route. 1) Cheaper, 2) Quicker, 3) Use for other purposes, 4) Can have dba names under main LLC, and 4) State approved forms online.
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Old August 24, 2010, 03:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
What are the consequences of an improperly written trust?
That's a good question. Several possible consequences: 1) when you die, wrong person gets your stuff. 2) when you die, expensive legal fees for wife/kids to pay to undo a messy trust that just doesn't work.

Beyond that, I have some reservations about using a trust to bypass CLEO sign-off. These things haven't been thoroughly tested....yet, IMHO. What I mean is that it is possible for local governments, state governments or even the fed gov to invalidate these trusts if the sole purpose is to get around CLEO sign-off to possess things that you wouldn't otherwise be able to possess.

I would always opt to have Class III item registered to me as an individual, if at all possible. But, if this is simply impossible, I'd take the risk of using a Trust on things like suppressors. Suppressors arae relatively cheap. I'd think twice about using one on things like 10K+ machineguns, unless you have the skills, time, money and energy to defend the trust at some future date as having a purpose other than to just thwart the CLEO sign-off.

I know that there will be a bunch of folks here, lawyers included, that will disagree with me based on the premise that: "I did it and it's been no problem at all". If that's their premise, they are missing the bigger picture here. More and more people are using things to get around the CLEO sign-off....how long do you think it will be before the non-signing CLEO's make a stink about this and the Antis do something about it?
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Old August 24, 2010, 03:24 PM   #6
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My dealer set up my trust. And since it's only for gun stuff... specifically silencers and SBRs I couldn't care less if it had Mickey Mouse in the thing.

I mean... the trust isn't on file with any authority or anything. And I don't have any real assets in it so for me there's no real downside risk of having it drafted with a mistake or something.

If I were dealing with a Trust for life planning, I'd definitely put more effort into getting all the details worked out right.
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Old August 24, 2010, 06:45 PM   #7
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I did mine with Quicken then had two lawyers look it over, neither suggested any changes.
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Old August 24, 2010, 10:19 PM   #8
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demigod: Is your dealer also an attorney?

As an FFL/SOT - I find it kinda incredulous to see the lengths that other FFL/SOT's will go to make the sale. Here in Florida there was a dealer that offered to do trusts for customers that ended quite badly.

I don't understand how what they are doing is not unlicensed practice of law.
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Old August 25, 2010, 05:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
My dealer set up my trust.
I agree with "GoingQuiet", that pretty close to practicing law and going way too far to get a 'Sale'.
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Old August 26, 2010, 02:27 PM   #10
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Skans, I must take exception to the use of the term "bypass CLEO sign-off".
Trusts have been a recognized entity since the National Firearms Act was passed in 1934. Admittedly, It is only recently that it has come into favor with the general nfa buying population, but it has been there for a very long time.

Trusts are an excellent medium for those that choose to own nfa firearms and want to provide for a postmortem transfer of assets, as the items in a trust do not go through probate and a well written trust will include instructions for the proper disbursement of the assets held in trust. They are also an avenue to ownership for those that live in an area where the LEOs (or at least the elected/appointed "leaders") actively resist and hinder the expression of our rights as outlined in the 2nd Amendment.

There are other points, but I will limit myself to these. I am not attempting to start anything, just putting my pov out there.

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Old August 26, 2010, 04:22 PM   #11
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Talk to all of your local Class3/SOT dealers, one of them might know of an attorney that specializes in NFA trusts at an affordable price. Mine was $500 and done by an attorney that is class3/SOT licensed. It's not the cheapest, but I know it was done right.
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Old August 26, 2010, 06:27 PM   #12
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I found a couple that specialize in NFA trust's. Average fee seems to be around 600$
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Old August 26, 2010, 07:42 PM   #13
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Did my own with quicken. 10 NFA items later no problem.
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Old August 26, 2010, 08:00 PM   #14
MDS
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Yeah, Quicken is what I have.
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Old August 27, 2010, 03:07 AM   #15
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Another vote for Quicken. Mine was mailed in June, approved in August. Cheap, quick, and easy. Inheritance problems seem, at this point, to be theoretical.

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Old August 27, 2010, 04:38 AM   #16
jmorris
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Quote:
Here in Florida there was a dealer that offered to do trusts for customers that ended quite badly.
In what way, can you expand on "badly"?
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Old August 27, 2010, 04:43 AM   #17
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IMO the drawbacks of an incorrectly done trust could include surrendering the firearm to LEO (very expensive) or unlawfully possessing a Class III item, which could mean serious fines/prison/felony conviction. No thanks.
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Old August 27, 2010, 09:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
I agree with "GoingQuiet", that pretty close to practicing law and going way too far to get a 'Sale'.
Nonsense. No different than anyone who drafts it themselves. If it were practicing law, then Legalzoom.com would not exsist.

There are all kinds of legal docs that can be done without a lawyer.
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Old August 30, 2010, 11:19 AM   #19
Skans
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Whether a gun dealer who prepares trusts for NFA firearms is practicing law or not, will have no effect on the validity of the trust.

The form trusts "seem" good enough to get by BATFE to get them to approve Form 4's. The potential problem is if in the future 1) BATFE issues one of their famous "special rulings" invalidating certain trusts or 2) if local or state laws get passed invalidating these kind of trusts; or worse 3) this prompts the passing of local ordinances simply outlawing NFA items since they've lost CLEO control.
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Old August 30, 2010, 11:54 AM   #20
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CLEO.....

I have always had issue with the CLEO sign off. They are being asked to sign a form that asks if it is legal to have Class III items in their jurisdiction. That's it. It's either legal, or it's not. How do CLEO's NOT sign these things?

My CLEO believes it's his RIGHT to regulate these items in his jurisdiction. He's WRONG. I'm not asking for his permission. I'm not breaking the law. I'm expecting him to do his job. He does not, so I don't bother going to his office any more.

I just don't understand why they feel entitled to ignore this part of their job.
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Old August 30, 2010, 12:24 PM   #21
Skans
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Quote:
I have always had issue with the CLEO sign off. They are being asked to sign a form that asks if it is legal to have Class III items in their jurisdiction. That's it. It's either legal, or it's not. How do CLEO's NOT sign these things?

My CLEO believes it's his RIGHT to regulate these items in his jurisdiction. He's WRONG. I'm not asking for his permission. I'm not breaking the law. I'm expecting him to do his job. He does not, so I don't bother going to his office any more.

I just don't understand why they feel entitled to ignore this part of their job.
The problem is that the CLEO sign-off provision of the law is poorly drafted. Federal law did not go so far as to require the CLEO’s to sign the forms. Yet the ATF took the position that it would not process the transfer requests without the CLEO certification. Without any requirement in the law for the CLEO to sign, and no "teeth" or penalty for those who refuse to sign, it's simply discretionary.

The BATFE could take a similarly arbitrary position and require a CLEO sign-off for beneficiaries of trusts who will be possessing these guns. Or, they could simply rule that such NFA items held in trust may not be fired or used without CLEO sign-off.

Like I said, I'd use a trust to buy stuff under $1,000 or less - I can afford to take that kind of loss. But, for the high dollar stuff, unless it's truly for investment, forget it. Its way too easy for BATFE and/or local governments to screw with you on this. So, I don't want to hear any cry'n - cuz you heard it from me here first.
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Old August 30, 2010, 01:17 PM   #22
MDS
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If the law is changed as mentioned. I will remove the stock and upper,(were talking about an SBR here) and they can have the lower which is what will be registered.
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Old August 30, 2010, 04:38 PM   #23
jmorris
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Quote:
The form trusts "seem" good enough to get by BATFE to get them to approve Form 4's. The potential problem is if in the future 1) BATFE issues one of their famous "special rulings" invalidating certain trusts or 2) if local or state laws get passed invalidating these kind of trusts; or worse 3) this prompts the passing of local ordinances simply outlawing NFA items since they've lost CLEO control.
If the Form 4 is approved it "is" sood enough, if you have done something incorrectly they will send it back to you to modify. Regardless, if they “sign off” on a trust made by quicken for <$50 or it cost you $200,000 to have a Supreme Court justice draft you one and then any of the 3 circumstances that you outline occur you will have to change your trust. No big deal as you can change it as you like up to the point that you are dead, in which case it’s not your problem anymore.

In any case whenever this comes up and a lawyer (or someone that has shelled out hundreds of dollars to one) always frowns upon the inexpensive solutions, claiming how someone had legal action pending against them or it turned out “badly” like GoingQuite stated in post #8. When you ask for specifics or examples you hear crickets…
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Old August 30, 2010, 10:16 PM   #24
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If you look around on the internet - there are a number of people who had trusts done by Anvil Arms out of Lakeland that have come under scrutiny.

No idea what the end result is, but the point I was trying to make is that it is best to avoid the mess to begin with.

A "Self done" trust can mean buying a trust in a box or writing it yourself in my view.

There is absolutely nothing that makes the trust in a box/quicken willmaker/etc less valid than a trust written by an attorney. However when you are dealing with high dollar items, I tell everyone to make sure they have a continuity plan and that is something that an attorney can handle.

YMMV.
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Old August 30, 2010, 11:08 PM   #25
jmorris
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If you look around on the internet - there are a number of people who had trusts done by Anvil Arms out of Lakeland that have come under scrutiny.
If you look around on the internet there are a number of people that have done a lot of things that are lies.

The only issue i had was "multi" nothing to do with a trust. The NFA branch just changed what they will accept. Same thing with a range of barrel lengths or OALs.
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