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For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

Special considerations for firearms in estate planning

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning in New York always demands careful consideration, and this is particularly true when firearms are involved. Legal intricacies exist that require you to adhere to specific regulations. If you fail to comply, your beneficiaries could face complications.

Legality of including firearms

Including firearms in a New York estate plan is permissible, albeit with complexities. Adhering to the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 is essential. Executors must ensure the decedent legally owned the firearm and held the appropriate licenses and registrations. Improperly registered firearms should be surrendered to authorities to avoid legal repercussions.

Out-of-state beneficiaries

Transferring firearms to out-of-state beneficiaries involves additional steps. Executors cannot directly transfer firearms, and the proper procedures must be followed. This means researching the laws of that state to understand if the firearm is legal in that state if that beneficiary is legally able to possess that firearm and whether a firearm bequest is legal in that state.

What to do if there were issues

In New York, if there were issues discovered by the executor with the firearm or the transfer, the executor needs to act as the firearm is no longer legal. There is a 15-day possession window during which the executor or beneficiary must lawfully dispose of the firearm or surrender it to the police. Failure to do so may lead to disposal by law enforcement after one year or other potential penalties, depending on the situation.

Potential consequences

Non-compliance with firearm estate planning laws can result in severe consequences. Executors must not transfer firearms directly to beneficiaries, as dictated by the SAFE Act. Violations carry serious legal implications.

While legally feasible, including firearms in a New York estate plan requires meticulous adherence to laws and regulations. Failure to comply can lead to significant legal ramifications, which underscores the importance of understanding and following these laws during estate planning.