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Can you pass your firearms to loved ones in your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2023 | Estate Planning |

One of the most important things you can accomplish with your estate plan is ensuring that your assets pass to your loved ones as you intended. You may have a range of goals for your personal property both during and after your lifetime, and you can create a strategy that will allow you to accomplish your goals and feel confident for your future. Each estate plan is different, but one important factor for you to consider is what will happen to your firearms after you pass. 

If you own firearms, you understand the legal requirements surrounding safe and responsible ownership. The same applies for passing your firearms to another person through the terms of your estate. Ownership and passage of weapons is subject to both New Jersey and federal laws, and it is helpful to understand the laws that will apply to your specific situation before you make important decisions for your future. 

Laws that could impact your plans 

There are different laws that could affect your goals for passing your firearms to an heir after you pass away. For example, the National Firearms Act regulates both the ownership of weapons and their passage to another owner. In order to legally transfer ownership of an NFA firearm, one must complete an ATF form and pay certain taxes. The Gun Control Act also regulates how one can pass firearms during and after his or her lifetime. 

When incorporating terms that pertain to firearms in your estate plan, your choice of executor or trustee is important. This should be a trusted and responsible individual, as well as educated about state and federal gun laws. It may also be helpful to establish a gun trust. This provides you the ability to avoid probate, protect your privacy and ensure that firearms end up with the right people in the future. Additionally, you will need to keep careful and up-to-date records regarding your firearms. 

Making the best choices for the future 

It can be difficult to create an estate plan that meets all of your needs and allows you to feel confident regarding your property in the future. An assessment of your goals can provide you with insight about how you can achieve your objectives and seek terms that will ensure the appropriate handling of your firearms after your death and that your assets are passed to the appropriate parties. 


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