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Old April 7, 2014, 07:23 PM   #1
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Do I need a Lawyer to make an NFA Trust?

I have been looking into the possibility of creating a NFA trust for a Title II SBR that I want to build, I highly doubt there will be any CLEO sign off here.

I have looked over quite a lot of information, and it seems the most prudent way to do this is to hire an attorney familiar with the process to help me make sure I get it right.

one of the advisements I have received so far is to create a dedicated bank account in the name of the trust; used to pay for the NFA item(s), as opposed to paying for them personally.

In my case I want to purchase a short AR Barrel and create a new NFA item, I have been confused thus far on the finer points of getting this done.

Did you use an attorney to set up your trust?
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Old April 7, 2014, 10:40 PM   #2
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You'll get a lot of different opinions. My opinion is that there's a lot at stake and it makes sense to make sure it's done right. If it turns out that there's a problem with the trust that invalidates it for any reason, you are immediately in violation of federal law by being in possession of an NFA item without the proper legal means to do so.
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Old April 7, 2014, 11:34 PM   #3
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Im in Co and used a laywer to set up a NFA trust.

He wrote it up and funded it with a $5 bill (s/n recorded). No separate bank acct needed.

I paid for all my NFA stuff outta my personal acct and bought them in the trusts name
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Old April 8, 2014, 05:13 PM   #4
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Here is a great post on The High Road that should help you decide:
Need a FFL in Dallas/Plano/Allen/Frisco/McKinney ? Just EMAIL me. $20 transfers ($10 for CHL, active military,police,fire or schoolteachers)

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Old April 8, 2014, 05:42 PM   #5
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^^^ That's also a sticky on the top of this forum.
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Old April 8, 2014, 09:23 PM   #6
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It's easier. Just go to . Pay them $600 and you will have two attorneys on your case - Mr. Goldman out of Jacksonville and a local counsel somewhere in your state of Colo.
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Old April 8, 2014, 10:09 PM   #7
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I don't have one but know 2 who went through and are happy.
They have reduced their price recently to $99.
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Old April 8, 2014, 10:11 PM   #8
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That certainly is a better price than I had been quoted elsewhere, I'll give it a look. Thanks
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Old April 9, 2014, 10:14 PM   #9
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It may not be "true" advice, but with something as serious as a creating a legal entity to own and posses NFA items, the adage rings true in my mind:

"If you think you may need an attorney, you need an attorney."

Sure, the online generic forms can work and have worked for people, but is it really worth saving the couple hundred dollars? What is an extra $500 when it comes to ensuring that you and your family do not become felons? Especially if you have any intentions of procuring any full-auto weapons down the road that will cost tens of thousands of dollars, is an extra couple hundred even a drop in the bucket?
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Old June 20, 2014, 08:57 AM   #10
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Its a good idea.

Technically, no. There is no law saying you must use a lawyer, BUT its highly recommended. If you set it up by yourself and make a mistake either in writing the trust or executing it, the NFA will still approve your purchases however if its ever found that your trust in invalid, you would be guilty of illegally possessing an NFA item.

This is a worst case scenario thing and probably wont happen, but with gun laws in constant flux like they are now you are better safe than sorry. Goldman will mail your a trust in a couple of hours for only $200, and its $600 if you want to purchase full legal support and actually meet with a lawyer. Considering you will be using the trust for the rest of your life, $200 is not a big deal.

Goldman sends you a list of instructions for properly executing and funding the trust, and how to purchase items for the trust.

Its also a very good idea to open a bank account for the trust and pay for all NFA items via that account. Technically, if the trust is purchasing the NFA item, the trust needs to pay for the item. You can pay with your own money and attach a letter to the trust stating you made the purchase on behalf of the trust, but its easy to set up a bank account and the paper trail is more legit. Don't take any risks, you don't know what the future holds.
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Old July 21, 2014, 05:31 PM   #11
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Old July 21, 2014, 06:29 PM   #12
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I used the guntrustlawyer site and a partner of his in CT and have been very happy both with advice he gave and now that I've received a couple stamps without any issue it's well worth the expense IMO.
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Old July 21, 2014, 06:38 PM   #13
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Yes. Yes. Yes. My legal advice (and I'm qualified to give it) is don't ask us or any other forum, go ask an attorney in your jurisdiction.

Beyond drafting the trust correctly, it is highly advisable to get advice on how to operate the trust properly going forward into the future. One misstep, and you could lose the protection of the trust and end up in serious hot water. Keep in mind that the issue we are talking about bears severe and unavoidable penalties where no "honest mistake" may go unpunished, which also may result in you never possessing a firearm again. There is too much at stake, meaning fines, forfeiture, personal liberty, and so on.
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Old July 24, 2014, 03:52 PM   #14
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TECHNICALLY no. As long as the trust is created properly, it doesn't matter who creates it. That said, there are NFA specific things that need to go into a gun trust designed to hold NFA items, and even just for regular guns its really not worth risking setting up an invalid trust on your own when you can have a lawyer set one up for $200 online and have peace of mind.

With NFA items specifically, the ATF WILL approve a transfer to an invalid trust, but if its ever discovered that your trust is invalid YOU would be responsible and charged with possessing an unregistered silencer or whatever NFA item you have, event though the ATF said you could have it.

Has this ever happened to someone? Probably not, and I'm sure you could make an invalid trust, buy a silencer or machine gun, and probably never get in trouble, but all we need is some maniac to go on a shooting spree with a registered NFA item and before you know it the ATF will be cracking down and auditing all its transfers, its not worth the risk in my opinion.
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Old July 24, 2014, 06:33 PM   #15
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Has this ever happened to someone? Probably not
I think Joshua Prince mentioned a case where the BATFE had transferred an NFA weapon to a trust and then when the owner attempted to purchase another NFA item, they denied the form because they claimed the trust was invalid. No idea how that worked out ultimately though.
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Old July 27, 2014, 07:52 AM   #16
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I don't have one but know 2 who went through and are happy.
They have reduced their price recently to $99.
They say right on their site that they aren't lawyers.

I paid $200 and mine was created by an real attorney authorized to practice in my state. It's worth the extra $101 just to have someone else to blame if my trust is ever found invalid. Using a lawyer shows that I acted in good faith rather than trying to save a few bucks by using a legal document I found on the back of a cereal box.
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