A Note on Why I Draft Gun Trusts for My Clients

I thought long and hard about whether I should do my gun trust business on a different website and under a different trade name than the ones I use for my estate and business planning practice. I’ve noticed that many attorneys separate their gun trust work from their other practice areas for fear, I suppose, that they might scare off potential clients who 357_IMG_2725are not interested in or even loathe firearms.

I decided to do all my business using the same website and trade name. Here’s why.

I draft gun trusts for two basic reasons:

1. Gun laws are complicated. Guns are assets, property that must be handled properly and carefully when the owner dies or becomes incapacitated. This is so because guns are regulated property and are therefore unlike virtually any other property people own. Violate one of the laws or regulations governing the transfer or possession of firearms–even unintentionally–and you or your executor or trustee could be in a fix. As an attorney who holds himself out as an estate planner, I feel an obligation to be knowledgable about and able to help my clients manage their firearms in their estate plans so my clients don’t find themselves in that fix. Moreover, since I represent clients in both Wyoming and Utah, this approach seems like a sensible plan to me.

2. Gun trusts promote safety. I believe gun trusts provide an extra layer of safety to gun owners and those who succeed them in ownership and therefore to the public. A trustee of a gun trust assumes a special or fiduciary obligation under the law when they manage firearms in a trust. The trusts that good attorneys draft make the parameters of that obligation crystal clear. The result, I believe, is better informed gun owners and improved public safety. If that’s actually the case, it only makes sense to draft gun trusts.

Of course, I could do all this without promoting my gun trust business on my estate and business planning website. I chose not to do that for two reasons: 1. Two websites are two times the work. Two trade names are twice as much to keep track of. 2. I want people who come to this website to know who they are dealing with. No surprises. I ask potential clients to disclose a lot when they work with me–that’s essential to good planning. It seems fair for me to be completely open with them as well.

 

Comments

  1. Although it is advisable that you separate any business to avoid conflicts I do not see any problems with you doing gun Trusts on your main website. I agree with you that having two websites is hard, maintaining just one is already a pain.

  2. I agree with your view about some people seeing your gun trust practice as a pro gun stand. But I do not see anything wrong with it. It’s like saying you are pro-murder if you are trying to defend someone accused of murder.

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