Trust vs Individual
Trust Versus Individual
Let's address the common question, "Why should I file with a trust?" We will compare filing with a trust to filing as an individual, and why we feel a trust is a far superior route.
- Legal entity owns the items instead of one physical person
- Flexibility on who can possess, transport, and use the items
- Inheritance is seamless and doesn't require any additional ATF applications, paperwork, and expenses
- Asset protection
- Avoids confiscation should a trustee become unable to possess items
- Lives "perpetually" in a transfer-ban scenario
- No initial, one-time extra expense (generally about $80 to purchase a trust)
- No need to print, sign, and scan a trust
At quick glance, it appears the scales are heavily weighted in favor of filing with a trust. Simply put, this is true. Trusts are the superior for flexibility, asset protection, and inheritance. The only two downsides to a trust are the initial, one-time setup cost (varies from free with an online template to expensive with an attorney) and the requirement of printing, signing, and scanning the trust.
At Capitol Armory, we offer a do-it-yourself trust on our website for just $79.95; however, you can use any service you'd like to create a trust and then simply provide us a signed copy of the trust. Regarding printing, signing, and scanning the trust, you just need access to a scanner. You can visit a place like FedEx or Office Depot, or simply use your smartphone to download a scanning app.
The initial, one-time extra expense and a few minutes of your time to print/sign/scan is certainly worth the benefits you reap using a trust.
Keep in mind, if you file as an individual and later decide you want those items transferred to a trust, a new Form 4 submission with a $200 tax per item is required. So, while it's possible to change to a trust in the future, it does add significant expense and paperwork.