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In January 2014, I received a call from a gentleman who had used Quicken WillMaker to prepare a living trust several years ago. The ATF had already issued six tax stamps to his living trust over the last few years for his various silencers and short-barreled rifles. Unfortunately, on the pending ATF application for his 7th NFA firearm, the ATF rejected his application on the basis that his trust was “incoherent.” I prepared a new Texas NFA gun trust for him. Needless to say, he now wishes that he had received professional legal advice from a licensed attorney before he filed his first Form 4 application with the ATF.
This begs the question, can I use a Nolo (Quicken WillMaker) living trust to create a gun trust? In response to the question, Nolo states expressly on their website:
No. If you want to create a gun trust, get personalized legal advice from an expert on gun laws. Nolo living trusts are designed for the people who simply want to pass on their assets while avoiding probate. Gun trusts are complicated because they:
— may need to last for more than one generation
— may have multiple trustees, and
— must address both state and federal weapons laws.
Nolo’s living trusts do not address these issues, and so you should not use Nolo living trusts to transfer weapons. If you want to make a gun trust, get help from a lawyer who has plenty of experience with these trusts and state and federal weapons laws.
I regularly receive inquiries from individuals who are very uneasy about the quality, or lack thereof, of Texas NFA gun trusts prepared by others (e.g., attorneys and Class III dealers) after reviewing the information on my website. In several cases, I have redrafted “gun trusts” prepared by so-called “gun trust” attorneys in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Frequently, I also redraft “gun trusts” sold as forms by non-attorneys, such as Class III dealers, and “gun trusts” prepared by individuals using retail legal form generation software, such as Quicken WillMaker. These clients regularly express to me that they wish they had contacted me on the front end, as it would have saved them time, money, and grief.
Would you like to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you received a high-quality Texas NFA gun trust from a Texas attorney who is recommended by several Class III dealers? Let’s get started!
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