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Posted: 4/8/2010 3:38:17 PM EDT
Is it recommended that I use a gun trust lawyer to draft my trust? Or is it a waste of money and I should draft my own?

I keep getting mixed opinions from different people I know,

One side says, "just draft your own trust, the only reasons an attorney advises you to use him, is so he can make a quick buck. A trust is a trust."

While the opposition claims "A NFA trust differs from other estate trusts, and I need an attorney to draft my trust to better suit my needs"


why pay $400-$600 to do something I can do my self?

Do you guys suggest I speak to a NFA savy attorney? After all, I am not very familiar with many legal terms, and it is a little intimidating to think any errors could have some consequences.

I don't want to draft my own trust as a quick fix, I want something that will protect me and my family. Is the language used in the trust something I should be overly concerned about?










Link Posted: 4/8/2010 3:57:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/8/2010 5:33:18 PM EDT by die-tryin]
You can do your own, but I wouldnt, There really isnt a "GUN TRUST" Lawyer other than a lawyer that has guns and may know gun laws, your trust will be just like everyone elses, gun owner or not. THe only thing that makes it a "Gun Trust" is that you put GUNS/ NFA items in your Schedule A. I had my trust drawn up thru a Family TRust and Will place, they didnt know the first thing about guns, other than where to put what. And YES, wording is very important in wills / trusts, it can make or break who gets what , if anything
Link Posted: 4/8/2010 5:29:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/8/2010 7:32:11 PM EDT
I did mine via quicken.....I'll let you know how it works out in a couple months.

T
Link Posted: 4/8/2010 8:18:57 PM EDT
You can get approved with quicken trust BUT, you are putting yourself as well as others/family/people that might encounter class 3 title II weapons of yours upon the untimely event of your passing.

You will hear folks tell you dont need to see a gun trust lawyer i.e. David Goldman, BUT if you read the language in the trust you would understand and sleep better at night.

It seems everyone is so engulfed with just getting the NFA item that they dont consider legal ramifications of the mishandling of said item in unforeseen circumstances.

The trust has provisions for almost any instance you can imagine.

It cost money, but I sleep better at night.
Link Posted: 4/9/2010 2:21:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2010 2:21:34 AM EDT by ScottS]
Originally Posted By tony_k:
Sure, you can do your own.

You also can do your own dental work, and your own surgery. But one false move and either you're in a whole lotta pain, or you are in the ER where admission costs you ten times what you saved.

There are reasons to call in the professionals. Surgery, dental work and firearms law/legal work are three instances where I do.

Your mileage may vary.


In fairness, this is a valid analogy only when they start making DIY dental and surgery programs, specifically designed to perform these tasks at home.

A far better comparison would be taxes or rental leases. Some people still go to an accountant for their taxes and a real-estate attorney for leases, but a lot of people do both of these successfully with the help of a well-crafted computer program. NFA Trusts are no different.
Link Posted: 4/9/2010 3:31:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2010 3:34:59 AM EDT by tony_k]
Link Posted: 4/9/2010 3:42:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tony_k:
Originally Posted By ScottS:
A far better comparison would be taxes or rental leases. Some people still go to an accountant for their taxes and a real-estate attorney for leases, but a lot of people do both of these successfully with the help of a well-crafted computer program. NFA Trusts are no different.

IMHO, there is a difference. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I expect my widow or my kids would be able to cope with any faulty leases or tax issues I leave behind. When it comes to legality issues with NFA ownership, however ... Well, dealing with the IRS or bitchy tenants is a whole different world from dealing with ATF's enforcement team. Just ask Randy Weaver. And while his was a case in the extreme, I have seen ATF do many other nasty things over the years.

I am willing to spend the money on an attorney –– if it means that that attorney will be there, in person, to shield and guide my family when I cannot. And Quicken won't step in to help them.

Again, Your Mileage May Vary, and it sounds like it does. Whatever.


You have valid points. I'm not arguing the pluses or minuses of using an attorney. Just the idea that it somehow compares to home dentistry or surgery.

Link Posted: 4/9/2010 4:57:31 AM EDT
I'll say go with what helps you sleep better at night. Thousands and thousands have used Quicken with NO problems whatsoever. I've got all my NFA stuff on a Quicken trust and I don't lose one minute of sleep at night because of it. It's cheap, it's 100% legal and has proven to pass NFA muster.



Link Posted: 4/9/2010 5:12:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By precision40:
I'll say go with what helps you sleep better at night. Thousands and thousands have used Quicken with NO problems whatsoever. I've got all my NFA stuff on a Quicken trust and I don't lose one minute of sleep at night because of it. It's cheap, it's 100% legal and has proven to pass NFA muster.





Until you have a problem or get it challenged in a court of law..then get back with us. From what ive read on here, some states dont recognized trust as legal entity , so some ppl cant go that route for NFA>

Link Posted: 4/9/2010 9:20:34 AM EDT
Originally Posted By die-tryin:
Originally Posted By precision40:
I'll say go with what helps you sleep better at night. Thousands and thousands have used Quicken with NO problems whatsoever. I've got all my NFA stuff on a Quicken trust and I don't lose one minute of sleep at night because of it. It's cheap, it's 100% legal and has proven to pass NFA muster.





Until you have a problem or get it challenged in a court of law..then get back with us. From what ive read on here, some states dont recognized trust as legal entity , so some ppl cant go that route for NFA>



Right. Because this happens all the time. Maybe you could list a few examples of this happening.

As far as some states not recognizing trusts, some states don't recognize NFA, either. What has that to do with this?

Link Posted: 4/9/2010 10:10:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2010 10:12:07 AM EDT by tony_k]
Link Posted: 4/9/2010 12:11:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2010 12:18:13 PM EDT by texjames]
I played with Willmaker 2009(2010 don't have trusts) and built a Trust just to test it out.I have a freind in Austin who doe's business law and he looked it over and did not see why it would not work.His 2 cents on why the Lawyers try the scare tactics on people not doing their own Trusts, Wills or whatever is that lawyers make money doing that stuff and don't like ya doing
your own as they don't get your money.I also think some of the 'I heard that". I know of" "ATF said" is rumor mill stuff, internet chatter with no facts to back it up.
Anyway i found out our new Police Chief would sign NFA so i went that route.
Link Posted: 4/9/2010 7:23:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tony_k:
Originally Posted By ScottS:
Originally Posted By die-tryin:
Originally Posted By precision40:
I'll say go with what helps you sleep better at night. Thousands and thousands have used Quicken with NO problems whatsoever. I've got all my NFA stuff on a Quicken trust and I don't lose one minute of sleep at night because of it. It's cheap, it's 100% legal and has proven to pass NFA muster.





Until you have a problem or get it challenged in a court of law..then get back with us. From what ive read on here, some states dont recognized trust as legal entity , so some ppl cant go that route for NFA>



Right. Because this happens all the time. Maybe you could list a few examples of this happening.

As far as some states not recognizing trusts, some states don't recognize NFA, either. What has that to do with this?


I personally know of two cases where ATF notified applicants that their trusts were invalid –– for one guy it was on his second Form 1 (the first one had been approved and built), in the second case it was his fifth Form 4.

In both cases, ATF allowed the trustees to have an attorney revise them and bring them in line with state law.

The problem, however, is that when a registrant is determined to be invalid –– whether it is an incorrectly drawn up trust, or it's a corp/LLC which expires or is dissolved –– technically the registration is voided and any previously registered NFA items become unregistered contraband, subject to seizure.

So I would not bank on ATF always allowing incorrect trusts to be reworked. If past ATF practice is any guide, they are much more prone to seizing and destroying NFA whenever and wherever they can, "for the children."

I live my life expecting the best but preparing for the worst. That's why I have my concealed carry permit (and always carry), why I have hurricane shutters for my home, why I have a lawyer handle matters that involve ATF. I've had instances where I was glad I had done the first two things; and I sleep a whole lot better having done the third.

But y'all should do whatever you see fit.


and this is why I stress individual ownership .. its tried, true, and has WAY LESS scrutiny than LLC/trust ownership. then again I don't mind dropping my forms off at the Sheriff's Dept or getting fingerprinted or sending photos and my Sheriff will gladly sign NFA paperwork.
Link Posted: 4/10/2010 7:13:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2010 7:14:18 PM EDT by EKUJustice]
I did mine the individual route but If I had to go trust(which i might soon) I wouldnt have a problem with using the software. Just make sure you have a beneficiary.
Link Posted: 4/17/2010 9:51:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ds762:
and this is why I stress individual ownership .. its tried, true, and has WAY LESS scrutiny than LLC/trust ownership. then again I don't mind dropping my forms off at the Sheriff's Dept or getting fingerprinted or sending photos and my Sheriff will gladly sign NFA paperwork.


Even though I do not have any of the forms, I asked a couple CLEO's in my county if they would sign, they said no. They do not even sign paper work for thier own people. Granted I have a lot of other people I could still ask, but the trust method just seems a lot better as far my family goes.

Link Posted: 4/17/2010 10:37:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By POOR_MAN:
Originally Posted By ds762:
and this is why I stress individual ownership .. its tried, true, and has WAY LESS scrutiny than LLC/trust ownership. then again I don't mind dropping my forms off at the Sheriff's Dept or getting fingerprinted or sending photos and my Sheriff will gladly sign NFA paperwork.


Even though I do not have any of the forms, I asked a couple CLEO's in my county if they would sign, they said no. They do not even sign paper work for thier own people. Granted I have a lot of other people I could still ask, but the trust method just seems a lot better as far my family goes.



You do know that CLEO isnt the only signature that you have to get, if you check ATF website under NFA section, there is a whole lotta ppl that can sign, not saying they would but the fact is ppl arent aware of this. Same with Trust, the trust route has been around since 1934 but the last 5-6 years has really brought it to the lime light.

Link Posted: 4/17/2010 11:58:41 AM EDT
A trust improperly drawn up by an attorney is a positive defence concerning matters of registration & forfeiture. An improperly drawn up, "do-it-yourself" trust is not.
Link Posted: 4/18/2010 1:38:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Master_Blaster:
A trust improperly drawn up by an attorney is a positive defence concerning matters of registration & forfeiture. An improperly drawn up, "do-it-yourself" trust is not.


Upon what do you rely for the claim that "attorney error" or "advice of counsel" is a defense to unlawful possession of an NFA item?

Usually reliance on the "advice of counsel" is a defense in white collar fruad cases where the prosecutor must show "willful" violation of a statute, such as willful failure to file reporting documents with SEC. The defense being I would have filed the documents, but was advised by counsel that I did not need to file them.

Sounds like one of the official selling points out of the mighty gun trust lawyer and prince handbook.

Link Posted: 4/18/2010 2:25:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Seacoastnh:
Originally Posted By Master_Blaster:
A trust improperly drawn up by an attorney is a positive defence concerning matters of registration & forfeiture. An improperly drawn up, "do-it-yourself" trust is not.


Upon what do you rely for the claim that "attorney error" or "advice of counsel" is a defense to unlawful possession of an NFA item?

Usually reliance on the "advice of counsel" is a defense in white collar fruad cases where the prosecutor must show "willful" violation of a statute, such as willful failure to file reporting documents with SEC. The defense being I would have filed the documents, but was advised by counsel that I did not need to file them.

Sounds like one of the official selling points out of the mighty gun trust lawyer and prince handbook.



I'm not referring to unlawful possession, per se. I'm speaking to the point the trust being drawn up correctly. In the case of a home-made variety, the SW-maker isn't giong to cop to any liability if their version is missing the mark somehow. OTOH, if hired counsel somehow does something incorrectly (theoretical-speaking, & rather unlikely), you can make argue that you had yor trust drawn up formally by an attorney. I'd wager ATF will to allow someone who had an improperly created trust via attorney to get the matter sorted in lieu of killing the dog.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 6:50:30 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Master_Blaster:
Originally Posted By Seacoastnh:
Originally Posted By Master_Blaster:
A trust improperly drawn up by an attorney is a positive defence concerning matters of registration & forfeiture. An improperly drawn up, "do-it-yourself" trust is not.


Upon what do you rely for the claim that "attorney error" or "advice of counsel" is a defense to unlawful possession of an NFA item?

Usually reliance on the "advice of counsel" is a defense in white collar fruad cases where the prosecutor must show "willful" violation of a statute, such as willful failure to file reporting documents with SEC. The defense being I would have filed the documents, but was advised by counsel that I did not need to file them.

Sounds like one of the official selling points out of the mighty gun trust lawyer and prince handbook.



I'm not referring to unlawful possession, per se. I'm speaking to the point the trust being drawn up correctly. In the case of a home-made variety, the SW-maker isn't giong to cop to any liability if their version is missing the mark somehow. OTOH, if hired counsel somehow does something incorrectly (theoretical-speaking, & rather unlikely), you can make argue that you had yor trust drawn up formally by an attorney. I'd wager ATF will to allow someone who had an improperly created trust via attorney to get the matter sorted in lieu of killing the dog.


So the well intentioned quicken user goes to jail or loses his NFA item and the guy that paid prince or goldman walks because, although they messed up his trust, he hired a lawyer and is going to be treated differently by the BATFE, is that your claim?

I am eager to learn of the incidents that support your claim.

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