Personal Injury & Estate Planning
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Archive for February 2016

NFA Firearm

What is a NFA Firearm?

NFA FirearmThe NFA is the National Firearms Act which was passed in 1934. It was created to regulate the ownership of various firearms and accessories including machine guns, short barrel rifles, silencers or suppressors short barreled shotguns, destructive devices and a group of items named “any other weapons.”

The NFA imposes a tax on persons or entities making or transferring firearms. When you purchase a firearm or accessory like a suppressor, that is considered a transfer. NFA firearms are taxed at a rate of $200 per transfer per firearm or accessory.

Since suppressors are now legal to purchase and possess in the state of Minnesota as of August 1st, 2015, firearm enthusiasts are now digging into the NFA and gun trusts. If you’re reading this because you’re interested in purchasing a silencer or suppressor, you will find more useful information in our How to Buy a Silencer blog.

Firearms & Accessories That Fall Under the NFA

A machine gun is any gun that can fire more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger, or a receiver of a machine gun, or a combination of parts for assembling a machine gun, or a part or set of parts for converting a gun into a machine gun.

A silencer is any device for muffling the gunshot of a portable firearm, or any part or parts exclusively designed or intended for such a device.

A short barreled shotgun is any shotgun (which is defined as a shoulder fired, smooth bore firearm) with a barrel of less than 18″ or an overall length of less than 26″, or any weapon made from a shotgun falling into the same length parameters.

A short barreled rifle is a rifle (which is defined as a shoulder fired, rifled bore firearm) with a barrel length of less than 16″, or an overall length of less than 26″, or any weapon made from a rifle falling into the same length parameters (like a pistol made from a rifle).  In measuring barrel length you do it from the closed breech to the muzzle, see 27 CFR sec. 179.11.  To measure
overall length do so along, “the distance between the extreme ends of the weapon measured along a line parallel to the center line of the bore.” 27 CFR sec. 179.11.  On a folding stock weapon you measure with the stock extended, provided the stock is not readily detachable, and the weapon is meant to be fired from the shoulder.

A destructive device (DD) can be two basic categories of things. It can be an explosive, incendiary or poison gas weapon, like a bomb or grenade.  It can also be a firearm with a bore over 1/2″, with exceptions for sporting shotguns, among other things.
I call the second category large bore destructive devices.  As a general rule only this second category is commercially available.

Any other weapons (AOW’s) are a number of things; smooth bore pistols, any pistol with more than one grip, gadget type guns (cane gun, pen gun) and shoulder fired weapons with both rifled and smooth bore barrels between 12″ and 18″, that must be manually reloaded.

Sources: ATF National Firearms Act website 

Estate Planning for Single People

Single? Estate Planning is Still Essential

By Matthew T. McClintock, J.D.
Vice President, Education, WealthCounsel

These days, more people are living single than ever before. In 1970, just about one- third of Americans 15 and older were single, according to U.S. census data. Today, that number’s closer to 50 percent.

Whether never married, divorced or widowed, singles need to pay just as much attention to their estate planning as married folks, as highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article. Single people face unique estate planning issues that require advanced planning, time and the help of an experienced professional.

Some of the most complicated estate planning issues for singles include:

Estate Planning for Single PeopleHeirs: When married people die without a will, their assets typically pass to their spouse. But what about single people? Assets are usually distributed along bloodlines, so children (if any), followed by parents, siblings or other relatives, would be the default heirs. If a single person has no living relatives, his or her assets might wind up with the state.

To ensure their assets wind up with the relatives, loved ones and charitable organizations that they’d prefer, single people should create a will and/or an irrevocable trust that specifically states how they’d like their assets to be distributed.

Decision makers: A health event or other incident could leave any of us incapacitated. For single people, it’s important to designate a trusted loved one or friend to manage assets and health care decisions in case of an emergency. Without proper directives, those decisions could fall to distant relatives or state-appointed strangers.

Single people should sign a general power of attorney, an advance health care directive, and a HIPAA authorization allowing a loved one of choice to make financial and medical decisions on their behalf.

Beneficiaries: Certain accounts, like retirement plans, require account holders to designate a beneficiary when they enroll. That beneficiary designation is typically upheld when the account holder dies, even if he or she gave the account to someone else in a will.

Previously married or widowed singles should reevaluate all of their beneficiary designations to ensure accounts won’t be given to former spouses if that’s against their wishes.

Those are just a few of the ways estate planning can be complicated for singles. It’s wise for single people to contact an estate planning professional as soon as possible, in order to make sure all their bases are covered and their assets are distributed according to their wishes.