The Silver Trust is designed to hold your entire firearms collection, both NFA (Class III) and regular (Non-NFA) firearms alike. As with the Bronze Trust, it will protect your firearms collection in Trust during your lifetime. However, unlike the Bronze Trust, the Silver Trust allows you to name your beneficiaries in the Trust document itself, so that upon your passing, your collection will be distributed to the beneficiaries named in the Trust.
As with all of our Gun Trusts, one of the main benefits to having a Silver Gun Trust is the avoidance of Probate upon your passing. Probate involves a public proceeding, and is lengthy and often complicated. Besides, who wants the public to know what your firearms collection consists of and who is inheriting it. With a Silver Gun Trust, the entire passing on of your collection is completely private and beyond the prying eyes of the public.
Since a Silver Trust is designed to hold both Class III and Non-Class III weapons, a BATFE Form 4 must be prepared and submitted (along with a $200 License Fee) to the BATFE for approval for each Class III weapon transferred into the Trust. This procedure applies whether you currently own the firearm in your name or whether you are acquiring the weapon new from your FFL. Either way, the firearm cannot be officially transferred to the Trust until the BATFE approves the Form 4. Transfer into the Trust of a Non-Class III weapon requires no such approval.
Additionally, for now at least, until the BATFE changes its Rules (which it is proposing to do), another added benefit of acquiring Class III weapons in a Gun Trust is that the owner/grantor of the Trust is able to completely bypass the usual requirements of being fingerprinted and photographed and obtaining CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) approval to the transfer as part of the BATFE Form 4 approval process. Stay tuned here as we monitor the BATFE’s efforts to change this Rule.
Upon the passing of the Grantor of the Silver Trust, the firearms will be distributed to the heirs and beneficiaries named in the Trust. To the extent Class III weapons are in the Trust, those weapons cannot be transferred until the proper documentation has been prepared and submitted to and approved by the BATFE.