Is a Gun Trust Necessary?

What is a Gun Trust?  

A Gun Trust is a type of Trust similar to a Living Trust that takes ownership of your firearms and ensures an orderly and legal transfer of the guns at your death.

You can name one or multiple Trustees responsible for transferring your firearms when you die and can name Successor Trustees if a single Trustee is unavailable or not qualified to serve as Trustee. You also name the beneficiaries who will receive the firearms at your death.

The Gun Trust is revocable, meaning you can change it anytime if you wish to change the Trustee or the beneficiary.

Title I and Title II

The National Firearms Act (NFA) defines Title II firearms as:

  • Machine guns (including machine pistols such as a Glock pistol with a conversions switch),
  • Short-barreled shotguns ( less than 18 inches in length),
  • Short-barreled rifles ( a barrel less than 16 inches),
  • Destructive devices ( any explosive such as grenades and missiles),
  • Silencers
  • AOWs ( such as wallet and pen guns).  

The NFA excludes antique firearms manufactured before 1898 from regulations unless ammunition becomes readily available.

Title I is the classification of all other firearms, such as ordinary rifles, pistols, revolvers & shotguns, and they are only subject to individual state licensing requirements. However, the ATF requires registration of all Title II Firearms.  

Do You Need a Gun Trust?

If you own any Title II firearms, you need a Gun Trust.

Any violation of a federal firearm law, intentionally or unintentionally, can result in the loss of the firearms, fines of up to $10,000, and sentences of up to 10 years.

A Gun Trust allows for any Trustee of the Trust to possess a Title II firearm legally. While all Trustees must comply with the same background and identification checks, the Trust can avoid potentially disastrous consequences.

A felony charge is at risk if someone borrows your vehicle with a Title II firearm in it. Suppose you let a friend fire off a few rounds with your Title II firearm. Your friend is subject to the same felony charge, as only the registered Title II gun owner can use the firearm.

When a Gun Trust owns the Title II firearm, you can solve many of these issues by having multiple Trustees.

Without a Gun Trust that names qualified beneficiaries, the issue becomes compounded at your death, with your legal representative and your family members at risk of felony charges.

In addition to these serious risks, the years-long Probate process will control your firearms ownership.

How is a Gun Trust different than a Living Trust?

Your Gun Trust controls your firearms, and your Living Trust controls all your other assets. Both are private and avoid Probate. Remember, if you only have a couple of Title I firearms, your legal representatives and beneficiaries are at risk depending on your state laws.

A few Title I firearms can be transferred efficiently by your Living Trust. However, you should also consider the protections of a Gun Trust if you own multiple Title I firearms.

Living Trusts

At the end of your life or incapacitation, they risk Probate if you have property, investments, or bank accounts in your name.

  • A Will = Probate. The rule is no one can legally sign your name. Therefore, at your death or incapacity, all assets in your name are subject to the complete Probate process, which averages 18 months and is costly.
  • Living Trust completely avoids Probate.
  • A Living Trust estate plan includes Health Care and Financial Power of Attorney documents and a Last Will and Testament for guardianship of minor children and to "pour over" any assets still in your name at your death, out of Probate.
  • Your life insurance policies and deferred compensation accounts can name your Living Trust as beneficiary, subject to essential tax considerations.

Comprehensive Benefits of America

For an expanded presentation of asset protection and financial wellness strategies and regular updates on strategies to protect what you have earned, visit and register with CBA on the link below. Registration is free.

Tom Tuohy is the founder of Comprehensive Benefits of America and Tuohy Law Offices.

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The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of these websites, Comprehensive Benefits of America, LLC/does not represent the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these sites. CBA does not provide professional financial, investment, tax, or legal advice. You should seek certified financial planners, CPAs, and attorneys for advice relative to your personal needs. See complete Disclosures and the CBA Security and Privacy policies.

Disaster Protection for Your Security

Disaster intrudes into our lives without any warning in most instances. Therefore, being prepared and protecting yourself and your family is critical.

I get it, we all deserve a break, and I hope you and your family enjoy a good one in August.

However, whether you are headed out for a long drive or getting on a plane for a more extended vacation, it is essential not to overlook the details that protect you and your family during unexpected events.

Accordingly, here is a disaster preparedness checklist:

Disaster Protection for Critical Documents and Valuables:

  • Certain documents belong in a fireproof safe but don't always get there. Here are a few:
  • Social Security Card (I hadn't seen mine in years and needed it recently for the REAL ID driver's license update. The deadline is 5/3/23.)
  • Spare photo IDs if you lose your wallet.
  • Vital records include birth, marriage, divorce, adoption, guardianship, and passport.
  • Your estate plan, Living Trust, and Power of Attorney documents.
  • Pet ID tags.
  • Household contact information includes your doctors, financial advisor, attorney, insurance, church, school, employer, and home repair services.
  • Vehicle titles, real estate deeds, and leases.

Lastly, here is a complimentary comprehensive checklist.

Disaster or Emergency Access to Health Care Power of Attorney

Undoubtedly, Someone must go home to retrieve your Health Care POA whenever we need this vital document. Please make sure you have access to it on vacation.

With this in mind, Docubank offers a significant discount of just $25 per year for this service for our customers. Please don't hesitate to call or email us for an application if you are not registered yet. 

Disaster and Insurance

  • Please ensure no gaps in your family health care and accidental injury insurance. Consider travel insurance for peace of mind.
  • While away from your home and traveling by vehicle, it is essential to have a current umbrella policy Most people are underinsured with a common $100/300 auto policy. An umbrella policy is a few hundred dollars annually and gives you an extra $1 million to protect your vehicles and home.

Mental Health

Finally, please don't overlook the stress of the last few years at work and home. Protecting your mental health and reaching out to someone when needed has to be a priority.

Accordingly, here is an excellent list of resources covering many issues.

Enjoy your summer break!

Comprehensive Benefits of America

For an expanded presentation of asset protection and financial wellness strategies and regular updates on strategies to protect what you have earned, visit and register with CBA on the link below. Registration is free.

Tom Tuohy is the founder of Comprehensive Benefits of America and Tuohy Law Offices.

LinkedIn
TomTuohy.com
312-559-8444
17W220 22nd Street  
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, 60181

Tom Tuohy
Tom Tuohy

The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of these websites, Comprehensive Benefits of America, LLC/does not represent the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these sites. CBA does not provide professional financial, investment, tax, or legal advice. You should seek certified financial planners, CPAs, and attorneys for advice relative to your personal needs. See complete Disclosures and the CBA Security and Privacy policies.

2020 Cyber Security Predictions from a CISO

2020 is here and hopefully, all security teams have resolutions of improving the cybersecurity of their business in the new year. But what new challenges and developments will 2020 bring that you need to be prepared for?

How cybersecurity will change in the next 10 years

Fewer passwords: In the next few years we will see the adoption of more non-password-based consumer authentication technologies (e.g. FIDO). Consumers and tech companies are increasing the pressure to move to systems that require fewer passwords. Technologies like single sign-on (SSO) and multifactor authentication (MFA) can help users authenticate users without requiring them to remember passwords.

Biometrics: There’s going to be more movement towards leveraging rich biometrics for convenience (e.g. Iris scans). These rich biometrics will leverage significantly more and better sensors (iris scanning, body posture, etc.) in consumer/end user-facing devices. 

Machine learning: Advanced machine learning models will allow for better context-based authentication assessments and improve the authentication process, like geofencing and device biometric sensors. Some of those models and technologies are already available. For example, MFA solutions can do geofencing based on GPS. Advanced sensors on mobile devices will also be usable over the next several years.

The key to implementation is back-office instrumentation – there’s machine learning that needs to take place to understand normal vs. anomalous behavior and that takes time.

Security breaches and passwords

According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 80% of breaches are still caused or enabled by weak and reused passwords. So the question remains: when will consumers and end-users improve their password behavior?

This really comes down to two questions: 1) When will it be harder for breaches to occur so fewer passwords are exposed?  and 2) When will users use better and stronger passwords? 

In terms of reducing breaches, this will be a long journey that requires enterprises to incentivize good security practices such as secure development over glitzy features. Over time, insecure services will have a higher likelihood of failing due to falling customer trust. This has started (e.g. scrutiny over Facebook’s data losses) but will still take more time to become considered a top tier risk for enterprises.

In terms of better passwords, this is all driven by consumer awareness. Newer authentication technologies will continue to whittle away at password-based systems, which may alleviate parts of this problem. But companies dealing with sensitive data (fintech, healthcare, etc.), they will also start enforcing more complex password policies to lower their risk. 

Biggest identity and access management challenges/ trends in 2020

All companies will face different challenges depending on their size and their sector. However, all companies face the challenge of security awareness among employees, contractors, and customers. And without the support from all users, technological efforts will not be fully effective.

To help with this effort, here are a few recommendations:

Multi-directional communication is extremely important in a security program, meaning working from the top-down, bottom-up, and side-to-side to get your message across. Reinforcement of best security practices should come from an employee’s manager, peers, c-suite and more. And yes, it’s true. Security is everyone’s responsibility.

People learn differently – some are more receptive to visual guides or written instructions while others may want a hands-on lesson. Also, the content can vary depending on your audience. Some may like content that is funny, serious or provides historical background. Whatever you choose, providing consistent communication is the key to a strong awareness program. Part of our focus is to make sure we are delivering our security training and materials in a variety of channels. We’ve also included employees in everything from video creations and contests – and it gets them involved and excited about it too.

When it comes to high-tech industries like those in the finance or healthcare industries, the key is to establish and maintain control over BYOD and Bring-Your-Own-App policies and mentality without impacting employee productivity.

I’m excited to see where this new decade takes us. Leave a comment below with your predictions for 2020.

By Gerald Beuchelt LastPass blogs

Comprehensive Benefits of America

For an expanded presentation of asset protection and financial wellness strategies and to receive regular updates on strategies to protect what you have earned, visit and register with CBAPlan on the link below. Registration is free.

Visit www.cbaplan.com or call 1-312-559-8444 for assistance with registering.

Tom Tuohy is the founder and CEO of Comprehensive Benefits of America, LLC, and Tuohy Law Offices.

The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of these websites provided herein, Comprehensive Benefits of America, LLC/ makes no representation of the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these sites. CBA does not provide professional financial, investment, tax, or legal advice. You should seek certified financial planners, CPAs, and attorneys for advice relative to your personal needs. See complete Disclosures and the CBA Security and Privacy policies.

Owning Your Digital Profile by Setting Up LastPass

October is the perfect time to take stock of your cyber security. Every year, worldwide efforts like NCSAM in the USECSM in the EU, and Stay Smart Online in Australia aim to raise awareness of important cybersecurity topics. Throughout the month, there are many resources available to help you better protect yourself online. 

Whether you’re new to LastPass or a long-time user, this month is also an ideal time to review your LastPass account. The first step to staying safe online is understanding the devices and applications you use every day. When it comes to LastPass, that means understanding how best to use the service and the security features that are available to you, to both protect your account and to use LastPass to its full potential in keeping you safe online. 

Start Using a Password Manager 

If you aren’t using a password manager yet, you can sign up for LastPass here. Getting started only takes a few steps, and you’ll be on your way to protecting your passwords and replacing every account with a strong, generated password.  

With LastPass, your passwords and other vault data is encrypted with a key that only you know. It’s more secure and accessible than your browser password manager and gives you on safe place to store not only your account logins, but all other important pieces of information you want to keep protected but convenient. 

Use the LastPass Browser Extension 

The LastPass browser extension is key to using LastPass to its full potential. The browser extension is what allows LastPass to securely detect whether to save a new password or fill one you’ve already stored. If you’re signing up for a new account, LastPass can offer to generate a new password (and then remember it for you, of course). 

If you haven’t already, be sure to download the extension to all browsers that you use on a regular basis, including Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge. The extension will give you quick access to all LastPass features, including your vault, and puts your password manager to work for you. 

Create a Strong Master Password 

Your master password is not only required to access your LastPass account, it also forms part of your encryption key. Your encryption key is used to encrypt the sensitive data in your LastPass vault, before it’s synced to LastPass servers. Of course, that means that keeping your data secure partially depends on choosing a strong master password.  

Be sure to follow good habits when it comes to your master password – never reuse your master password, or share it with others, or use something easily guessable. If you think your current master password could be stronger, simply update it in your account settings. It’s a good idea to update it regularly anyway, such as once a year. 

Download the Mobile App(s) 

LastPass isn’t just for your desktop or laptop. Our apps for iOS and Android ensure you always have your passwords and other stored data with you, no matter where you are or when you need them. You might be surprised how often you might need to use LastPass when you’re on the go. The apps are free – and sync your data for free – so there’s no reason not to go download them from the app stores today! 

Investigate LastPass Features 

Of course, the tips we’ve provided above are just the beginning. LastPass has a lot of features and settings to help you better protect your data online, and to better secure your LastPass account. Be sure to familiarize yourself with how the main features work. Take a few moments to explore the menus and settings available in your browser extension, mobile apps, and the vault.  

As you become more familiar with LastPass, you’ll feel more confident in using it! And with that confidence will come the peace of mind of knowing you’re following the advice of top cybersecurity experts and better protecting yourself – your data, your money, your identity – with a password manager. 

By: Amber Steel, LastPass Blogs

Comprehensive Benefits of America

For an expanded presentation of asset protection and financial wellness strategies and to receive regular updates on strategies to protect what you have earned, visit and register with CBAPlan on the link below. Registration is free.

Visit www.cbaplan.com or call 1-312-559-8444 for assistance with registering.

Tom Tuohy is the founder and CEO of Comprehensive Benefits of America, LLC, and Tuohy Law Offices.

The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of these websites provided herein, Comprehensive Benefits of America, LLC/ makes no representation of the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these sites. CBA does not provide professional financial, investment, tax, or legal advice. You should seek certified financial planners, CPAs, and attorneys for advice relative to your personal needs. See complete Disclosures and the CBA Security and Privacy policies.

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