How do I Leave My Heirs My Gun Collection in Illinois?

  • Estate Planning
how do i leave my heirs my gun collection in illinois | estate and probate legal group

Many people enjoy hunting as a hobby, and often hunting is a shared interest amongst family members. When you wish to leave your collection of guns to someone after you die such as your child or other loved one, a good option is a gun trust. A gun trust can be used, along with a will, to direct your assets when you die. But a trust offers several benefits that a will does not.

To qualify for a hunting license, applicants must be Illinois residents. An Illinois Driver’s License or State ID card number must be included on the application. Applicants under the age of 21 must have a parent’s signature on a notarized form. The parent must have or be eligible to have a FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) card.

What Is A Gun Trust?

When building your estate plan, many people choose to have both a will and trust. A gun trust allows gun collectors to legally and safely transfer their personal guns to a family member without exposing them or the will’s executor to criminal liability. Some benefits of having a gun trust are:

  • Bypass Probate
    Probate court can be expensive and take a long time before the collection is given to the beneficiary. You can bypass going through probate with a trust. It allows the guns to transfer to the named person immediately.
  • Avoids Fingerprinting
    When a person receives a gun, they must generally contact the local police department and be photographed and fingerprinted before accepting it. With a gun trust, this step is not necessary.
  • No ATF Fee
    When transferring the ownership of a gun, the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) typically requires a $200 transfer fee. This fee is unnecessary with a gun trust… but all guns still need to be registered.

A gun collector must comply with all Illinois state and federal gun regulations before leaving their collection to a specific beneficiary. This is why it’s crucial to work with an experienced Illinois estate planning attorney.

Why You Need an Estate Planning Attorney

There are strict state and federal regulations when transferring ownership of guns to another person. Before setting up a gun trust, you must ensure all firearms have a serial number and are registered. It is illegal to own or transfer guns that are not registered. A well-drafted trust should ensure there are no violations of federal and state laws. The trust will also guide trustees and beneficiaries to make the transfer of the collection legally.

Oak Brook Estate Planning Attorney

Call us if you have questions about setting up a gun trust. An experienced Illinois estate planning lawyer can advise you on the best options for your situation. To talk to a qualified estate attorney in Oak Brook, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835. 

We serve Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.