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New suppressor, trust question

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by Lennyjoe, May 11, 2013.

  1. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Well-Known Member


    I just layed out $750 (tax title and all) for an AAC Cyclone 7.62 suppressor for my 300 AAC Blackout and have a quick question. I want to do a trust and was wondering if I should do the document myself or obtain legal services to do the trust for me, so I can send it in with the proper forms.

    What's your experience doing a trust? Thanks.
  2. MaterDei

    MaterDei Well-Known Member

    Nice purchase. I'm jealous. Sorry I can't answer your question but I'd love to have that can on my 300 BLK.
  3. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Well-Known Member

    Thought about going with the YHM-4300 LT but the 4 + month wait just for the can was the turn off. This one was also about $75 cheaper but the trade off is the weight and length. Good thing is, it was on the shelf already so that cuts the wait in half.
  4. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Well-Known Member

    Have a lawyer do the trust for you. Unlike a regular revocable trust, there is specific NFA language and considerations that must be addressed in the trust. Drafting a trust yourself and having it end up being invalid would mean that the purchases made using the trust would be illegal. Most places charge between $500-1000 to draft a trust for you and then $75-100 for any amendments that you add in the future.
  5. cpy911

    cpy911 Well-Known Member

    Thousands of Quicken/Nolo trusts have been approved. Why would my Quicken Trust be invalid? It is a legal document and notarized and valid. Once the approved tax stamps are validated and in your possession you are good to go.

    If you FEEL better spending more money with a lawyer, be my guest.
  6. Impureclient

    Impureclient Well-Known Member

    !!!! They are $200 all day long in FL. Where do they charge that much?
  7. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, lawyers are only licensed on a state by state basis. So in some states, where there aren't a lot of NFA-friendly lawyers drafting trusts, the prices are high. In other places, competition keeps the price low. As far as I know, I'm the only lawyer in Kentucky doing NFA trusts, but I still only charge $200 because I don't believe in gouging people.

    Your two options are to do the trust yourself using Quicken Willmaker or a similar resource, or to pay an attorney who is licensed in your state. Paying "some guy on the internet" who isn't even a lawyer, like 199trusts.com, is just stupid. If you're confident that you can do it yourself, more power to you. If not, hire a professional. But don't hire an unlicensed amateur. He's committing a crime by practicing law without a license, and if he's willing to commit a crime to make money, why would you trust him to create a valid legal document?

    Good luck. Sorry that I can't refer you to a specific Arizona-based attorney.

  8. cpy911

    cpy911 Well-Known Member

    You can legally make your own trust. Absolutely nothing wrong with it.

    You can not have someone who is not a lawyer do it for you.
  9. Singletracker

    Singletracker Active Member

    Closer to the $1k number for the greater Denver area (this was pre-idiocy too).

    I found an attny on the other side of the state that did mine for $350
  10. xxjumbojimboxx

    xxjumbojimboxx Well-Known Member

    legal zoom?
  11. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Well-Known Member

    Sure, you CAN make a trust yourself and there are programs designed to do so. However, many of the programs are for regular revocable trusts and not worded and designed specifically for NFA firearms. I highly recommend that you at least consult with an attorney who practices firearms law and see if you would rather do it yourself or have a professional draft the trust for you. Many attorneys give free consultations so you can decide for yourself.
  12. whubbard

    whubbard Well-Known Member

    I have a Quicken Will that I easily did myself, wasn't a problem getting approved. When I see people saying that you should get a lawyer to do it, I assume:

    1) They are a lawyer.
    2) They are still justifying how much they paid a lawyer for their trust.

    I really haven't come across any wording in an 'nfa specific' trust that I feel my Quicken Will trust doesn't cover or that I'm worried about.
  13. Impureclient

    Impureclient Well-Known Member

    One of these days somebody is going to just take their trust and word for word copy it and paste it on the internet for everybody to use. We are allowed to do that right?
    Maybe it would have to be posted for each State but that seems like the easy way to end the gouging altogether. Does a NFA trust have different wording going from State to State?
    If that is legal I will offer up mine for Florida. Mine was done by a attorney, so it's all legally worded.
  14. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Well-Known Member

    I know there are a lot of lawyers in the country, and being one, I know that a fair number of them are jerks. I also know that if you've ever had contact with the legal system, there was a lawyer on both sides, so you probably think at least 50% of all lawyers are horrible people. But I think that lawyers who want to help people legally own NFA firearms are due a little more respect from the firearms community.

    You paid a professional, who spent at least 7 years in college in order to learn how to write a proper legal document to protect you, to make you a trust. That professional owes student loans for that education. And that professional has mouths to feed. And he took into account your specific needs when he created that document.

    And the document he created is copyrighted, as are all written works. So you may be breaking the law by posting it online for others to copy. The chances that you'd get punished are basically none, but that doesn't make it right.

    If I were you, I'd at least give him the respect of asking him if you can post it on the internet. From an intellectual property perspective, it'd be no different than saying "Boy, that was a good book I just read, and I know other people want to read it, but the author wrote it down once, so why should anyone else have to pay? I'll just put it on the internet for free."

    To answer the practical questions: yes, there are differences in trust laws from state to state. Those apply regardless of whether it's an NFA trust. And while the wording of a standard trust may be sufficient to let you legally acquire your NFA toys, where the NFA trust is differs is how the wording of the trust deals with the transfer of the items after your death, or forbids automatic actions that a standard trust might take that would cause you to violate federal law.

    I don't insist that people use a lawyer to make their trust. Yes, I am a lawyer and yes, I do NFA trusts (in Kentucky only). My fee is inexpensive, and I think that I provide a service that's worth the money.

    Plenty of people are comfortable doing things themselves, and I respect that. I do my own plumbing, my own electrical work, my own car repairs, and my own gunsmithing. But I also know when I'm in over my head and need a professional's assistance.

    If I were to ask a question on the internet about how to install a hot tub, I wouldn't be surprised if someone told me to hire a plumber. I would not expect someone to say that anyone who hires a plumber is either a plumber or trying to justify how much they paid their plumber.

    If you want to create your own trust, go for it. There are plenty of intelligent people that are capable of it. But just like anything else, you need to learn what you're doing if you want to do it right.

    Be prepared to read all the legal treatises you need to in order to understand what you're doing. This might involve going to a physical library. Understand the legal terms used in trusts and your state's laws about trusts. Know what you can and can't do with NFA firearms. And then draft your trust accordingly. Or take the risk that Quicken Willmaker will get it close enough that your heirs aren't in violation of federal law.

    But don't violate copyright law and take food out of someone's mouth just because you don't personally want to pay for a trust.

    I'm sure some people won't like my response because I'm an attorney, and so this response must be self-serving. That's fine. I'm a big boy and I can live with people not liking me. I am also sure that some people will ask, "Okay, so if NFA trusts really are different, tell me how they're different." The thing is, I make my living by knowing information and having skills that other people don't. (Just like a plumber. Huh.) I'm happy to discuss NFA laws on the internet, and I'm happy to talk in general about how NFA trusts are different. But I'm not going to spell it out, word for word, and tell you how to do it yourself for free, because my mortgage company doesn't take "the goodwill of THR" as payment. They insist on dollars. I'm sorry if that offends people.

    If you want to create your own trust, then seriously, go for it. But copying someone else's copyrighted intellectual property isn't creating your own. And don't look down on people who want the peace of mind of having an expert tell them that their legal documents will keep them and their family safe.

  15. cpy911

    cpy911 Well-Known Member

    If you FEEL better hire a lawyer to make an NFA trust for you.
    Otherwise my NFA documents have instructions for my heirs to fill out and send in ATF form 5. No worries. It is not that complicated folks. Just read the rules on the ATF
  16. NormB

    NormB Well-Known Member

    All over the place. NFA trusts in Maryland run upwards of $600. For cookie-cutter verbage, you're paying premium prices for the privilege. Check around, there are some other lawyers who charge more reasonable rates - $200 ballpark - for same, you might also consider using one of the cookie-cutter NFA trusts being passed around the web.

    I've used one myself for four suppressor transfers, no problem.

    I'll get flamed/slammed/lambasted by the legal mafia over this, no doubt, but there are other options.

    As a physician, I understand the professional "angst" when you see/hear about people functioning as their own doctors (or lawyers, as the case may be), but hey, I do my own taxes, the hell with the CPA mafia. I don't bat an eye when a patient takes an OTC med for fever, or puts on their own bandaid. Some things should be self-evident and well within the purview of the average public education victim without the extortionate rates of attorneys (or CPAs) to worry about.

    Shop around.
  17. NormB

    NormB Well-Known Member

    PS: I own an AAC Cyclone 7.62. It's as good as my SWR Shadow if not better, and was a little cheaper. I'd avoid ANY of the 18, 51 or 90-something tooth RATCHET mounts made by AAC. They're total ****. Maybe wait for them to come up with a 360 tooth ratchet ; - ).

    I've had nothing but problems with mine and the company has NEVER answered a single email, phone call, or registered letter of complaint. I did manage to find a fix on another website requiring some machine-shop work, but really, threaded is the way to go for cans. I wouldn't buy another AAC can if you paid for the can AND form 4.
  18. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    I am NOT an attorney. I hired an attorney to write MY NFA trust and I feel it was worth every penny paid. There IS NFA specific language in my trust and I would not feel comfortable using Quicken to write it. I feel like there's just too much riding on the legality of that trust.

    While I'm not an attorney, I was an FFL for many years and I was an SOT for most of those years, so I do understand the complexity of NFA laws, and I can assure you I don't want to take any chances with NFA ownership.
  19. Akita1

    Akita1 Well-Known Member

    Lawyer, lawyer, lawyer and nothing but lawyer. Words mean something and I have seen quite a few forms rejected by BATFE on friends' NFA purchases for the slightest immaterial wording mishap in an trust document.

    A few posts above note the attitude problem - to me it's much akin to "gun shop guy" attitude. I asked friends who they have used and successfully executed numerous NFA transactions, and then used the one most amenable. DIY legal docs are asking for trouble, IMHO. It's not just a risk to you, but your investments, heirs, etc. My cost was flat $600, including afew amendments he had to make here & there to make it compatible with my existing trust/will/estate docs for my wife & kids.
  20. whubbard

    whubbard Well-Known Member

    Do people not realize that the Quicken Wills are written by a team of very competent lawyers? I'm not drafting up my own trust from a blank sheet.

    I don't see why so many people recommend paying $400+ for a NFA trust written by one lawyer over a $30 for a Quicken trust written by a team of lawyers. Many NFA lawyers have one draft and they slap on different names, Quicken is no different, they just don't have the NFA language.

    Now if Quicken Wills were being rejected for this difference in language, I would understand it, but they aren't. Mine have been approved, as have many others. I doubt the rate of Quicken rejections is any different than those written by NFA specific lawyers.

    Remember, both are written by lawyers, the main difference (imho) is cost.

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