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Archive for September, 2011

Texas Gun Trusts

The federal government regulates many kinds of weapons through the National Firearms Act (“NFA”).  States can restrict firearm ownership further, though Texas does not restrict firearm ownership beyond the Federal framework.  In part, the NFA states that individuals can’t own many kinds of weapons.

If you possess some sort of antique firearm or other firearm regulated by the NFA, such as a machine gun, suppressor, or sawed-off shotgun–then chances are, you know what a gun trust is.  For everyone else: a gun trust (also known as a “NFA Trust”), is a special kind of trust usually designed to own firearms that are regulated by the NFA (commonly referred to as “Title II” weapons).

The NFA carries an extremely stiff penalty for unlawfully possessing restricted firearms, including a $250,000 fine and 10 years in prison.  That should be enough to get your attention.  The government doesn’t particularly want civilians owning these weapons, and I think there is good reason to that.  However, many Texans own (or want to own or want to inherit) firearms that have significant personal, sentimental, and/or dollar value.  Therefore, there are mechanisms in place for lawfully possessing and transferring NFA firearms.

One of the most efficient ways to possess and transfer NFA firearms is through a NFA Trust.  With a NFA Trust, the trust technically owns the firearms, not the individual.  The individual is allowed to possess and use the weapon, but actual ownership belongs to the gun trust.

Be careful to avoid DIY gun trusts, gun trusts provided by gun dealers, or a gun trust form online.  While I appreciate the thought of saving money by getting a NFA Trust online, think of the consequences if the trust is not done perfectly.  For example, if your trust is invalid (and many, many DIY NFA trusts are invalid), then you are actually unlawfully possessing those NFA firearms.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to risk losing a quarter million dollars and 10 years in prison–just to save a few hundred dollars in attorneys’ fees for correctly setting up the trust.

Trust me, good gun trusts are complicated documents.  In fact, many attorneys won’t even help with a gun trust due to all the particularities and huge risk involved.  There are Texas gun trust attorneys around, though.

Depending on the law firm, expect to pay $500 to $1,000 (maybe more) for a gun trust in Texas.  I charge even less than that for NFA Trusts in Dallas.  A valid gun trust by an attorney makes it so that you can lawfully possess NFA firearms, transfer them, and pass them on to beneficiaries when you die.

How much does a Texas NFA Trust cost from an attorney?  Contact Shutt Law Firm to get your low-price quote.  I will tell you what I charge, right over the phone.  214-302-8197.  Plus, I have made it a point to be among the more affordable NFA Trust Attorneys in Texas.

How long does it take to get your completed gun trust back from the attorney?  Less than a week in most cases.  The entire process can be completed through email and phone correspondence.

If you are in the Dallas area and interested in a Texas gun trust, you are welcome to contact Shutt Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation.

Shutt Law Firm provides clients Gun Trusts in Dallas, Trusts in Richardson, Trusts in Plano, and throughout the DFW area.  Visit www.ShuttLawFirm.com for more information on Texas estate planning trusts.


Visit http://www.shuttlawfirm.com or email ishutt@shuttlawfirm.com.  You can also call Mr. Shutt at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this blog or to discuss a different legal matter.  Phone-calls and quick e-mails are always free at Shutt Law Firm PLLC.  Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you’re looking for a Richardson probate lawyer, Richardson wills lawyer, Richardson estate planning attorney, power of attorney in Richarson, or Richardson guardianship lawyer.

 Important words include – NFA Trust Dallas, Dallas Gun Trusts, Gun Trust Dallas, TX, NFA Trust Dallas, Texas.

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing in this blog post constitutes legal advice.  The information provided herein is merely provided in the spirit of education.  If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney for your specific legal situation.   Further, nothing in this blog shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship.  No such relationship exists until you sign an engagement letter with the Firm.
http://www.ShuttLawFirm.com

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The “Pot Trust”

What is a pot trust?  Should you have a pot trust in Texas?

A pot trust has nothing to do with marijuana or gardening.

There are many, many different kinds of trusts, and the “pot” trust is just one of those varieties.  As a refresher, a trust is a document that lays out legal relationships among the person making the trust (called the “grantor” or “settlor”), the person in charge of the assets contained in the trust (called the “trustee”), and the people who benefit from the trust (the beneficiaries).

People have trusts for a million different reasons.  One of the more common reasons to have a trust is to provide for minor children.  That is, if the parents of a minor child die, the children cannot legally inherit the parents’ property outright.  Should this happen, the local Texas probate court will likely have to set up a “guardianship of the estate” to give an adult the authority to accept the inheritance for the benefit of the child.  This guardianship process can be expensive and/or burdensome.  However, to alleviate this problem, parents can establish a trust for the benefit of minor children.

A trust for minor children in Texas is generally created in a parent’s Will (we call this a “testamentary trust”).  A Texas estate attorney can customize and tailor this trust to meet each parent’s goals for the trust.  For example, many parents don’t want the trust to simply give their kids a huge lump sum of cash automatically when the kids reach age 18.  Instead, they structure the trust such that the trustee can spread out the distributions until the child reaches age 25 or beyond.  This is especially useful to make sure the child has money to pay for a college education instead of wasting it on something else.

But what happens if both parents die with a trust, with one child age 18 and the other age 25.  Let’s say the trust has $100,000.  Let’s also say the 18-year-old is entering college and the 25-year-old has graduated college (and the parents paid for the college).  Do the parents want the trust to give each kid $50,000?  Split right down the middle–that seems fair, right?

It seems fair unless you’re the 18-year-old!  She has to pay for her entire college education even though her older brother didn’t!  This is where the pot trust is especially useful.

A pot trust puts all the parents’ assets into a single “pot” when the parents die.  The trustee of this pot trust has the power to make distributions for the benefit of any and aii of the children.  So, in our example, the trustee can pay the 18-year-old’s college tuition with the pot trust.  Then, when the youngest child hits a certain age, the pot trust either terminates and gives the remaining money equally to the kids or spins off into separate trusts for the benefit of each child individually.

In short, a pot trust creates one large trust for the benefit of several people, which may be preferable over the creation of smaller individual trusts.  To discuss which of the million varieties of trust is best for you and your family, talk to a Texas estate planning attorney.


Shutt Law Firm provides clients Trusts in Dallas, Trusts in Richardson, Trusts in Plano, and throughout the DFW area.  Visit www.ShuttLawFirm.com for more information on Texas estate planning trusts.


Visit http://www.shuttlawfirm.com or email ishutt@shuttlawfirm.com.  You can also call Mr. Shutt at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this blog or to discuss a different legal matter.  Phone-calls and quick e-mails are always free at Shutt Law Firm PLLC.  Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you’re looking for a Richardson probate lawyer, Richardson wills lawyer, Richardson estate planning attorney, power of attorney in Richarson, or Richardson guardianship lawyer.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing in this blog post constitutes legal advice.  The information provided herein is merely provided in the spirit of education.  If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney for your specific legal situation.   Further, nothing in this blog shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship.  No such relationship exists until you sign an engagement letter with the Firm.
http://www.ShuttLawFirm.com

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