An Illinois Lawyer Offering Advice and Counsel to Trustees and Executors of Gun Trusts
Gun trustees in Kane, Cook and Du Page counties need legal advice to avoid violations of state and federal law
Gun trusts have become very common, and applications have expanded rapidly since 2011. However, the requirements around gun trusts and the protections they offer from the 1934 National Firearms Act are often misunderstood.
The Law Offices of Kenneth L. Block offers more than 30 years of experience as a consultant to executors, trustees and others, and can address any problems you have regarding responsibilities of a gun trustee. The firm is a professional and economical solution for those who have questions about their duties. Do not risk a violation of state or federal law. Contact Kenneth L. Block if you administer a gun trust in Cook or the collar counties.
What is an executor or trustee of an estate?
An executor or a trustee oversees the probate and trust administration of someone’s estate after that person dies. An executor is the individual who has been named in a will with the task of readying an estate for the probate process. The executor must be submitted to the probate court and an accounting of the contents of an estate must eventually be provided so that the estate can be divided. A trustee is an individual tasked with maintaining a trust for another person, whether that person is living or dead. Someone with questions regarding probate or trust administration and firearms should consult the Law Offices of Kenneth L. Block.
What are the obligations of a trustee for a gun trust?
The trustee of any trust assumes legal responsibility for the proper administration of the trust and the upkeep of the property within it, although a trustee is not the legal owner. A trustee is considered to be a “fiduciary” to the beneficiaries of the trust, and can be liable for the breach of that duty if the contents of the trust are misused in some way. Duties of a trustee include:
- Duty to administer the trust according to its terms — A trustee is obligated to carry out the intentions of the person who created the trust. The trustee can delegate this duty to others but is ultimately responsible if the property in the trust is used for other purposes. This creates significant liability if the firearms in the trust are misused
- Duty to exercise the standard of care, skill and caution of a reasonably prudent person — This typically means someone must handle trust property with the same level of care as would be used to handle his or her own
- Duty of loyalty to beneficiaries — A trustee must administer a gun trust solely for the benefit of the beneficiaries and not his or her own. Self-dealing can be a violation of the trustee’s responsibilities
- Duty to secure and safeguard the trust estate — A duty to secure trust contents not only means safekeeping but also maintaining and updating all needed paperwork and other matters. In a gun trust, this could mean preserving and organizing all licensing and other documents
- Duty to segregate and identify the assets — A trustee must keep the trust assets separate from his or her own property and earmark them. A trustee who comingles guns or other gun trust contents with his or her own will be absolutely liable if they are lost or destroyed
- Duty to account — A trustee must make clear and accurate records of the trust contents and make them available to the beneficiaries
Attorney Block has been a pro bono counsel for the Illinois State Rifle Association. Trustees of gun trusts must consult an experienced attorney to avoid legal complications.
Contact the Law Offices of Kenneth L. Block for more information on how to administer a gun trust
Gun trusts are an effective means of preserving firearms for industry professionals and serious collectors. However, the requirements of trustees and administrators are often different than what people expect. Do not let a misunderstanding lead to a more serious liability or violation of federal law. Contact the Law Offices of Kenneth L. Block for more information on the obligations of gun trust administrators. Call 312.600.4032 or online to schedule a consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available. The offices are conveniently located near Chicago O’Hare International Airport.