Recently a past client informed me that his NFA gun trust document, which I drafted, was kicked back to him by an ATF examiner. The issue resulted from a novel interpretation of who the document identified as "responsible persons" under the trust. My first response was to find out whether any rules had changed that I did not know about. Although I confirmed there have been no rule changes since 2016, I did learn that ATF counsel was taking a new, stricter approach to the definition of responsible person for a trust. Although my client's situation was perhaps just an anomaly due to an overzealous examiner, I used this opportunity to carefully review and edit the software templates I use when drafting NFA gun trusts. The updated document tightens the wording in a few key provisions in order to eliminate the offending language. While I disagree with the ATF's interpretation, I also want to minimize the possibility of ATF examiners kicking back a Form 4 to a past client of mine. My update also includes a minor change in wording to the trustee declaration form and to the provisions allowing for appointment of a trust protector.
If you are a past client who wants to update your trust document to include my recent changes, please contact me.
Today the House of Representatives passed legislation that would affect IRA distribution rules. The key change that affects estate planning is the provision that would limit the duration of post-death required minimum distributions to 10 years for most non-spouse beneficiaries.
I will continue to monitor whether the bill passes the Senate and gets the President's signature. The bill has bipartisan support, so it is definitely something to pay attention to.
Thomas J. Bouman