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"Passing on" or whatever it is called

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Jim K, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    "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.

  2. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

    Good advice. Also, if you have a safe, make sure that your heir will have access to the combination.
  3. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

    I've got a better plan.

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

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

    faustulus Well-Known Member

    I like "shuffled off this mortal coil"
  5. Jim March

    Jim March Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    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?
  7. wmenorr67

    wmenorr67 Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. Bubbles

    Bubbles Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. FPrice

    FPrice Well-Known Member


    "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).
  10. FPrice

    FPrice Well-Known Member

    "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.
  11. SunBear

    SunBear member

    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' "
  12. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    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".

  13. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. Kamicosmos

    Kamicosmos Well-Known Member

    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*
  16. WhiteKnight

    WhiteKnight Well-Known Member

    Have you read William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily ?
  17. 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).
  18. Andrew Rothman

    Andrew Rothman Well-Known Member


    If you have some nice hardware, I'll bet there are almost 13,000 people here willing to become your heir! :)
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2004
  19. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. Sam Adams

    Sam Adams Well-Known Member

    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.

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