It’s finally fall in Minnesota, and for some of us that means pulling out our hunting gear! November 4th marks the start of the 2023 deer hunting season for many in Minnesota who hunt with firearms. In my family, deer hunting season also traditionally marked the start of family and community gatherings that continued into the holidays. The hunting party would head up north, and those at home would wait to hear if it was to be a lean winter or a plentiful one. The successful hunters would then tag their deer and head back home, where the non-hunters had set up the garage as a processing area. I have many warm (and pungent!) memories of processing deer with two other families, camaraderie flowing as we worked to get the deer processed for the freezer in hopes that we would have venison to eat all winter long.
The hunters I grew up with were responsible, respecting the land that we hunted on, refusing to take shots that would not quickly kill the deer, and following guidelines for testing for chronic wasting disease (CWD).
Hunting can often be a family affair, and family members may desire to pass guns onto the next generation just as they would jewelry or cast-iron pans.
Minnesota law provides for folks to create tangible personal property lists, and people typically include items of special importance to them there. However, family firearms cannot necessarily be passed along through a personal tangible property list the way other cherished items may pass. There are some items that people may want to consult with an attorney before listing in their tangible personal property list, and firearms are one of those items. Even if I decided to transfer one of my guns to my nephew while I am alive, it would be a felony because he is still a minor! State and federal law also prohibit certain individuals from possessing firearms.
Fortunately, clients have many options, including gun trusts, to ensure the responsible transfer of their firearms, and it is a good discussion to have with the attorney advising on your estate planning. Just as hunters plan their weekend in the woods, they should plan for the legal transfer of their guns to the next generation. Below are a few suggestions as you move towards intentional planning to pass firearms on after your death.
- Think about who you want to transfer your firearms to. Are any of those individuals minors or prohibited from gun ownership because of a state or federal law? If so, it is important to know if it is possible to pass on the firearms in this way, as well as what the safest way to do so is under state laws.
- Are the firearms that you wish to pass on regulated under the National Firearms Act? If so, there may be additional steps required to be able to successfully and legally transfer ownership during your life or after your death.
- Discuss your wishes and intentions regarding your firearms with an estate planning attorney at Schromen Law, LLC to create a plan that is tailored to your unique goals and needs. Talk this through when you meet with your attorney so she can draft an estate plan that is tailored to your situation!
The material contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between Schromen Law, LLC and the reader. The information contained herein is not offered as legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.