"Passing on" or whatever it is called


PDA






Jim K
October 4, 2004, 09:18 PM
"Passing on", or "going to Heaven", or "departing" or whatever we call it, it will happen to all of us. So a couple of things to think about, now, while we still can.

Let your heir(s) know what guns you have and their approximate value. If you don't feel comfortable giving someone a list ("I scrimped and saved, while you bought all these guns...") leave it in an envelope in your safe deposit box. We might not want to admit it, but some folks will try to "rip off" a widow who does not know the value of an inherited collection. ("I like that Colt Paterson, Suzie, and I'll give you $100 for it", says your "old buddy".) Update the value every year or so.

If you have NFA items (machineguns, short barrel rifles, silencers, etc.) that are registered, get copies of the ATF Form 5 (non-tax transfer) and fill out the weapon information, so your executor knows what you have and can legally get them transferred to your heir. If you have unregistered NFA items or other illegal stuff, clue someone in so they will know and not get into trouble. If they choose to keep the stuff and say nothing, that is their business, as you are no longer around. If they turn it in, it still is their business. Don't stick your heir with big trouble or even jail time because you didn't look ahead.

On all guns, but especially registered NFA stuff, make sure your heir/executor knows everything is legal so they don't panic and turn it over to the police when they could have gotten a lot of money out of a legal sale.

Just some thoughts about that thing we don't want to think about called dying.

Jim

If you enjoyed reading about ""Passing on" or whatever it is called" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Atticus
October 4, 2004, 10:13 PM
Good advice. Also, if you have a safe, make sure that your heir will have access to the combination.

Trebor
October 5, 2004, 02:31 AM
I've got a better plan.

Just don't die. (Maybe "Just Say NO!" to Death...)

It's worked for me so far....

faustulus
October 5, 2004, 03:46 AM
I like "shuffled off this mortal coil"

Jim March
October 5, 2004, 04:55 AM
I prefer "suffered that final system crash" :D.

Or "finally got in touch with that "entropy" thing..."

Heh. In my case it'll probably be "finally managed to piss off one sheriff's flunky too many" unless Diebold gets my tush first :D.

griz
October 5, 2004, 06:51 AM
I was talking to a friend about this yesterday. His heirs are not much interested in guns and he was wondering if the NRA or somebody has a deal that would use the guns for some kind of educational program. Anybody know?

wmenorr67
October 5, 2004, 07:41 AM
I believe that the NRA will take collections and then auction them off to help fund different programs. The person making the donation can dictate, I believe, as to which program the money goes. Check the nra website and they should have a link or a place for the answers.

Bubbles
October 5, 2004, 08:01 AM
I'm dealing with this now since my mom passed away over the summer. These are all good points to consider if you're a gun owner. I'd also like to add:

- Keep a list of all of your assets (stocks, bonds, bank accounts, IRA/401k accounts, CD's, deeds to real property, vehicle titles, artwork, firearms, jewelry) in a safe place, but one that is known to the executor of the estate. There have been a lot of surprises with my Mom's finances.

- Make sure that you have legally-drafted will, properly notarized and witnessed if necessary. State laws vary widely here. Don't just print one off the computer and sign it.

- Before you pass away, the executor should have, or know where to get,:
- A key to the primary residence,
- The keys/combinations for any safes,
- Location of any safe-deposit boxes, and the location of their keys,
- Location of any storage units, and the location of their keys.

- Don't forget to make up a Living Will, discuss Do Not Resuscitate (sp?) orders with close family, etc. We had some hard medical decisions to make before Mom passed away, and she never told us her wishes as far as DNR.

Finally, if you own Class III firearms you may want to incorporate, transfer all of them to the corporation, and list the heirs as agents of the corporation. My husband is going through an inheritance transfer now (he's the heir) that has so far taken more than five years, with no end in sight.

FPrice
October 5, 2004, 08:30 AM
"Just some thoughts about that thing we don't want to think about called dying."

Very good treatment of a rather sensitive subject.

A good resource could be your local FFL, IF they are reputable (let's face it, some just ain't). I know that my local dealer would do all he could to insure my widow was treated fairly and got a good deal IF he had to liquidate my meager collection.

However, I plan on passing them on to my son, just have to make sure I'm around until he is old enough to own them himself (he's only 7).

FPrice
October 5, 2004, 08:32 AM
"I believe that the NRA will take collections and then auction them off to help fund different programs."

Local or state organizations may often do the same thing. I know that the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) has had a similar program.

SunBear
October 5, 2004, 08:56 AM
Going home. Yeah!!!:D I'm in the middle of a hospice situation with an elderly relative right now and Medicare will cover it, for those of you who are planning.

"Whether we live, therefore, or die; we are the Lords' "

Al Thompson
October 5, 2004, 09:26 AM
For those of us without kids, wives or relatives, a list that the executor can use to divvy out your stuff works well. I have several firearms due to go to different friends if I suddenly decide to "take a dirt nap".

:D

griz
October 5, 2004, 10:04 AM
Thanks for the info. Ideally he want his guns to be used instead of sold in one big lot. An auction sounds like his best bet.

armoredman
October 5, 2004, 10:29 AM
When I buy the farm, the wife knows what to do, and the values of whatever.
BTW, if anyone has illegal Class 3, they need to dispose of it now, and get legal, as dieing in prison would suck a whole lot worse than dieing at home with family and friends. Also, as a prohibited possessor, ANYTHING that is actually legal will be confiscated anyway, and if your town is like mine, your prized Smith Model 29 or Sig P210 will be melted down to make manhole covers, all while you get to meet Bubba, your new cellie.
Ain't worth it, amigos.

Kamicosmos
October 5, 2004, 10:47 AM
Course my problem is I don't see me having any heirs. So even if I give them to the NRA or something....wonder how they're going to get them?


I have a dreadful feeling that I'll be one of those old guys that dies quietly in his sleep, and finally the neighbors call the police after a month of wondering what that smell is..... :(




*gloom and doom, gloom and doom*

WhiteKnight
October 5, 2004, 11:06 AM
I have a dreadful feeling that I'll be one of those old guys that dies quietly in his sleep, and finally the neighbors call the police after a month of wondering what that smell is.

Have you read William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily ?

Texian Pistolero
October 5, 2004, 11:17 AM
I have some nephews whom I try to interest, but I don't see them out shooting or buying on their own.

Presuming he doesn't have a clearly defined INTERESTED heir. i think that older feller should start selling them off himself, less wanted pieces at a time.

1) Over time, get better value than fire sale.

2) Better control over safety issues (kid just finds).

Andrew Rothman
October 5, 2004, 11:23 AM
Kamicosmos:

If you have some nice hardware, I'll bet there are almost 13,000 people here willing to become your heir! :)

R.H. Lee
October 5, 2004, 11:23 AM
Good advice, and it applies not only to firearms, but anything valuable you own. The ideal situation is to put everything with a title (real estate, vehicles, etc.) into a living trust. I think you can also list personal property in the same document. Take photos, make notes and include proximate values. Don't leave a mess for someone else to deal with. Do it now, or very soon. Nobody knows when their number will be up.

Sam Adams
October 5, 2004, 11:29 AM
I strongly advise everyone to get their affairs in order, no matter what your age or your health status.** This includes those of you who have no kids, but ESPECIALLY those that have young ones - you don't want some judge determining who will raise your kids if you and your spouse get hit by a Mack truck on the way home from the movies.

This means having a Will drawn up. Have an attorney do it, so that it is done the right way - "penny wise, pound foolish" became a well-known saying for a reason. By the way, most states require 2 witnesses who WON'T be inheriting anything under its terms, as well as a notarization if you don't want your Estate to have to pay to track down and perhaps transport one or both witnesses to appear in front of the Probate judge. This document is where those of you with minor children will name the Guardian for them, should you be the last of the child(ren)'s parents to die.

You should also have a Power of Attorney, which allows someone to take care of your finances while you are out of commission. Its bad enough to be in the hospital and/or rehab for weeks or months due to an injury or sickness, but to come home and find out that the utilities have been turned off, your house is up for auction because of unpaid taxes and your credit is ruined only makes things worse.

A Medical Power of Attorney is needed for obvious reasons. People almost always pick their spouse as #1, but if you don't have a spouse, or if you need backups, then try to pick someone with at least some medical knowledge.

A Guardianship document for you is also needed. If you are permanently disabled by a disease or injury, then someone will have to make decisions for you as if you were a small child. Better someone that you know and trust than the opposite.

Some type of "pull the plug" document is needed. This is a HIGHLY personal decision, and you may want it simply to say that you DON'T want the plug pulled. My documents allow you to make an affirmative choice either way, so that there's no doubt about your wishes.

Regarding guns, I don't like to list them in a Will. Wills become part of the public record when your Estate goes through the probate process, and anyone can look at those records. We don't want Agent Schmuckatelli going to the Probate Office and copying every Will that has a list of guns, now do we? What I do is have the Will reference a list of tangible personal property (i.e. stuff that has intrinsic value, like a gun or an antique watch - not stock certificates and not real estate). I strongly urge people to review (and update if needed) those lists every year or 2 at least. If 2 or more lists are found, then the most recently dated one is to be used.

Regarding NFA weapons, I put these directly in the Will. ATF already knows about these, so publishing the information in your Will harms no one. My wills have it going "to X, if he or she is legally able to possess the firearm, otherwise to Y, otherwise to be sold by my Executor." By the way, ATF has regs in place that allow an Executor to legally possess the weapon during the administration of your Estate. I recommend that the Executor put the gun into a safe deposit box and not directly possess it, until the weapon is to be handed to the ultimate owner. Needless to say, the Exec shouldn't walk into a bank holding the weapon in his/her hand - put it in a case, disassembled, so that if he/she is stopped by the police on the way to the bank or someone in the bank notices it, the Exec doesn't get in trouble. I further recommend that the Exec have a copy of the Will and an original of the Letters Testamentary (the document naming him/her as the Exec) with them while transporting the weapon.

A Living Trust makes sense for anyone with real property in a different state than where you live. It also makes sense for anyone interested in privacy for their heirs, and those who may need to be cared for in the near future (i.e. the elderly, who might have a stroke or get Alzheimer's). It costs more than a Will, but your Estate will save at the back end by not having to go through probate.

General advice-EVERYONE should have a list of all of their assets and liabilities, with contact information. This means listing every bank, brokerage firm, insurance company, etc., along with the account numbers and the name and address of the person at that institution who handles your account (if any). List approximate values for items that can't be readily valued (i.e. those guns, your Grandpa's old pocket watch, coin collections, etc.). Also, list the names and contact information of friends and/or family members THAT YOU TRUST who are familiar with these assets, so that the Exec can get fair and honest estimates of value and recommendations as to how to dispose of those assets. Update this list periodically, and make sure that your Exec and perhaps one or two other TRUSTED family members or friends know where it is located. I've seen too many cases where the Exec has to deal with a confused nightmare of unorganized paperwork, which not only puts a burden on someone who doesn't deserve it, but it costs your Estate (i.e. your heirs) lots of money.

I am sure that you are all responsible with your guns - now make sure that you are responsible with the rest of your affairs.
____________________
* I must admit that I'm an Estate Planning attorney, but everything that I say here comes from the heart. While it would be nice to get some business from fellow THR members, I don't expect it and I'm not trolling for it. The vast majority of you live far away from me anyway, and my purpose is solely to give genuinely good advice. Consider the above to be free legal advice.

Cacique500
October 5, 2004, 08:42 PM
"I want to go quietly in my sleep like my father did...not shouting and screaming like his passengers" :)

Another good thing to have is one of those little Mini USB keys...you can fit a huge amount of personal info & data on one of those and then keep it in a safe.

hollowhandle
October 5, 2004, 08:49 PM
Thank you for the information.
Chip

ZeroX
October 5, 2004, 10:07 PM
Actually, I intend to be an gun-toting undead mercenary, fighting against drug lords and the man who sent me to my early grave.

Standing Wolf
October 5, 2004, 11:57 PM
We don't want Agent Schmuckatelli going to the Probate Office and copying every Will that has a list of guns, now do we?

I'm sure Pat would never stoop to such behavior.

Seriously: thanks to all who've contributed to this thread. I'm a middle-aged guy who still seems to think he's going to live forever. Time to start taking some steps.

Jim K
October 6, 2004, 12:40 AM
I am not an attorney, but I have never heard of anyone listing guns in a will unless it was to parcel out specific guns to specific heirs. Mostly, the will just says "guns" or "gun collection" if the testator wants to deal with the guns separately from his or her other possessions.

FWIW, I think we have some paranoia here. I have never heard of BATFE agents wasting time going through probated wills. They may be public records, but I think (hope) the Feds have better things to do than poring over millions of wills in search of lists of guns.

Thanks to all who contributed other ideas. I had concentrated on the gun issue because I had recently heard of a case where a widow turned her late husband's WWII souvenir MP.40 submachinegun over to the police for destruction because someone told her it was illegal. In fact, it was registered with both the Federal government and the state (MD), and was perfectly legal. He had known that, but she lost thousands of dollars because he did not keep her informed.

Jim

LittleLarry454
October 6, 2004, 10:14 AM
FWIW, I think we have some paranoia here. I have never heard of BATFE agents wasting time going through probated wills. They may be public records, but I think (hope) the Feds have better things to do than poring over millions of wills in search of lists of guns. I agree. And there's a LOT of public records, so the thought of the BATFE going though them is pretty slim.

I think the auction or consignment is the way to go in a case of a person with a large collection. Especially the consignment route. The consinor will try to get the best price, because his cut is better and assuming he's a FFL, everything is on paper then.

John Ross
October 6, 2004, 11:50 AM
Don't forget to list the GPS coordinates of anything you've buried...

JR

Leatherneck
October 6, 2004, 12:22 PM
Jim, good thread; thanks for posting it. I have one problem with this part:If you have unregistered NFA items or other illegal stuff, clue someone in so they will know and not get into trouble. If you did have unregistered NFA stuff, it would be illegal, right? So if you told me about it, then I've got knowledge of a felony(?) in progress for as long as you keep the item. That's not only a legal problem for me, but a moral one as well. I think you might apply the same "put notice in safe deposit box" philosophy.

TC
TFL Survivor

bdhawk
October 6, 2004, 12:42 PM
your idea has a lot of merit. a sweet little ole widow lady sold a pristine ruger .45 colt blackhawk to a shootin' buddy of mine for $100.00. she had no idea what it was worth. his consience got to bothering him and he went back to her, telling her that she made a bad deal for herself. she stuck to it, but she probabally did not want to go back on her word.

entropy
October 6, 2004, 08:11 PM
"Or "finally got in touch with that "entropy" thing...":evil:

Jim K
October 6, 2004, 10:13 PM
Hi, Leatherneck,

You are correct, and that section was not well thought out. I had in mind cases where your ownership of an illegal item is known to a friend, and you might want to let him know so he can get it to keep or destroy after you are gone. Of course, this makes him an accessory to a crime.

On consideration, I will say that any illegal items should be turned into the police or BATF. The trouble is that most folks who do have such things want to keep them and generally do not want anything to do with the LE community.

Anyway, it is an area that people need to think about before their actions get their survivors into trouble.

Jim

Sam Adams
October 7, 2004, 03:12 PM
I am not an attorney, but I have never heard of anyone listing guns in a will unless it was to parcel out specific guns to specific heirs. Mostly, the will just says "guns" or "gun collection" if the testator wants to deal with the guns separately from his or her other possessions.

FWIW, I think we have some paranoia here. I have never heard of BATFE agents wasting time going through probated wills. They may be public records, but I think (hope) the Feds have better things to do than poring over millions of wills in search of lists of guns.

And there's a LOT of public records, so the thought of the BATFE going though them is pretty slim.

1. It is the listing of specific guns in a will that I was addressing.

2. Even if you just leave "guns" or a "gun collection" to 1 or more heirs (and even if they're not mentioned at all in the will), many states have a requirement that the Executor provide an inventory of the estate's assets and their values to the Court. When I come across this situation, I uniformly advise the Executor to simply include the value in "miscellaneous property" and leave it at that.

3. Given the state of the law in this country up to the present time, I would agree that such caution may seem excessive. However, I always advise my clients for the long term. Who knows what the future will bring? Can you guarantee that Hillary won't get elected in 2008 and name Schumer as her AG, or that some event or events (real or manufactured, like the Reichstag Fire) won't result in a clampdown on our RKBA and a large increase in funding for the BATF (large enough, for example, to send a few people to every probate court in the country over a period of 5 or 10 years)? I don't have a crystal ball, but I do try to make sure that anyone who gets advice from me is prepared for as many things as possible. I am sure that most of those who opposed the Nazis in the early '30's didn't think that registering their guns was a problem, and equally sure that many of them felt quite differently later on.

In case you didn't notice, gun owners and all lovers of Freedom and Liberty are in a cultural war against the collectivists. They want our guns, ALL of them, and have even stated so publicly. We'd be foolish to provide any additional means by which our ownership can be proven. That's not paranoia, that's prudence.

If you enjoyed reading about ""Passing on" or whatever it is called" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!