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  #1  
Old 05-19-2017, 6:57 AM
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Default What will happen to my father's guns if he dies?

My Dad is 70, not in the greatest health, and is going in for heart surgery in the next few weeks. The doctors have told him there is a chance he might not survive the surgery or recovery. He doesn't believe that he needs a trust or will and has instead put my name on all his bank accounts and has given me keys to his apartment. He is not married, no siblings, and I am his only child

My question is, if he passes away, what would be the process for me to take possession of his guns? He owns 2 rifles and a handgun - all registered in CA.

I'm hoping that this will not be an issue in the near future but just trying to be prepared

Thanks in advance for any answers/suggestions

Last edited by delta9; 05-20-2017 at 4:13 PM..
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2017, 7:05 AM
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Have a will regardless. Hope your father recovers well.
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Old 05-19-2017, 7:14 AM
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Take them now.
As long as no one contests the estate or he has debt that can't be paid Don't worry about it but take what you can now.
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Old 05-19-2017, 7:16 AM
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I am sorry about your dad's issues, but he is stupid to not have a will and/or a trust. He is literally going to create legal headaches for you.

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Old 05-19-2017, 7:38 AM
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He needs a trust and a will, that way you can avoid probate which takes months and costs thousands.
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Old 05-19-2017, 7:52 AM
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Thanks but he is pretty adimant that he doesn't need a will. Doesn't believe in lawyers and he has no debt.

If he passes can I just take possession of his guns? What steps are necessary for me to make it legal?

Last edited by delta9; 05-19-2017 at 7:57 AM..
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Old 05-19-2017, 7:54 AM
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Thanks but he is pretty adimant that he doesn't need a will. Doesn't believe in lawyers.
Holy crap, he doesn't believe in lawyers? Like he doesn't think they exist? Because if he dies without a will real lawyers are going to make life difficult for you.

Anyway, simplest solution is to Oplaw all his guns to you. Costs $19. Promise him he can borrow his guns from you whenever he wants when he recovers.
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Old 05-19-2017, 8:03 AM
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Thanks but he is pretty adimant that he doesn't need a will. Doesn't believe in lawyers.
What about going to a Notary then? Does your father have a spouse/girlfriend? Is his estate sound? Debt? Someone will have to settle his affairs or the state will. Sorry but once your name goes on assets you resume his affairs.
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Old 05-19-2017, 8:06 AM
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You need the death certificate and a form with fee, not complicated since no other siblings but is there a mom or spouse alive? If so then she would gain possession and just PPT to you.
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Old 05-19-2017, 8:07 AM
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Sorry to hear about yout dad. Bank accounts are fine if titled Joint with right of survivorship. They will just pass onto you as the signature card is considered a contract.

Is the apartment a rental or owned? If owned, that goes through probate which = fees.

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Old 05-19-2017, 8:07 AM
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I've already had this discussion with him and I can't force him to have a will or trust drawn up. Can someone please explain how things will work with his guns if he passes?
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Old 05-19-2017, 8:09 AM
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Sorry to hear about yout dad. Bank accounts are fine if titled Joint with right of survivorship. They will just pass onto you as the signature card is considered a contract.

Is the apartment a rental or owned? If owned, that goes through probate which = fees.

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He rents his apartment - the only things that might be difficult for me to take possession of is his car and firearms
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Old 05-19-2017, 8:12 AM
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You best consult a attorney or join the NRA if you have not. See if someone there can give you some professional advise.
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Old 05-19-2017, 8:16 AM
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Originally Posted by delta9 View Post
I've already had this discussion with him and I can't force him to have a will or trust drawn up. Can someone please explain how things will work with his guns if he passes?
Can't help you with that (my father had a trust), but why not Oplaw the guns to you now? No FFL involved.
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Getting called a DOJ shill has become a rite of passage around here. I've certainly been called that more than once - I've even seen Kes get called that. I haven't seen Red-O get called that yet, which is very suspicious to me, and means he's probably a DOJ shill.
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Old 05-19-2017, 8:17 AM
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You best consult a attorney or join the NRA if you have not. See if someone there can give you some professional advise.
What? seriously not needed.
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  #16  
Old 05-19-2017, 8:17 AM
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Can you fill out the inter family transfer forms now, just in case? If he dies, put a check for 19 dollars and mail it if he doesn't make it. I don't know the legality of this, not proposing breaking the law or anything.
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Old 05-19-2017, 8:20 AM
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If someone dies without a will, then all of their personal possessions and real estate property and anything else they own goes through probate. It takes an attorney to deal with the probate process, if you don't hire one then the court will appoint one for you. They get a percentage of the estate and I believe there is also a minimum amount. You should be able to go on line and figure out how much that will cost based on the size of his estate. To avoid all that, people create a living trust, deed their house to the trust and will all their property to that trust. Someone is named trustee and executor of the will, you submit the will to the court less than 60 days after your loved one has passed and then you can avoid probate.

If your father gives you all of his stuff before he passes, then I suppose you can avoid a lot of headaches that way but you should still probably consult with an attorney or at least do a lot of online research. My father in law just passed away a few months ago so we are learning a lot of these things as we go, my sister in law did a trust and will herself and screwed it up, she didn't deed the house to the trust so it has to go through probate now which is going to cost about $30K
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Old 05-19-2017, 8:38 AM
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Take them now.
As long as no one contests the estate or he has debt that can't be paid Don't worry about it but take what you can now.
well said
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  #19  
Old 05-19-2017, 8:58 AM
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Sorry to hear about the condition of your father. I am an attorney. If your father dies with a will or without a will, his assets are subject to going through probate. A trust will avoid probate. Based on what the OP has said, I am assuming there are minimal assets, since he rents an apartment. Usually only valuable assets and those with a title such as a financial accounts and vehicles will be subject to probate. If your father puts your name on all titled assets, such as vehicles and financial accounts, you should be fine. However, other family members could assert an interest in your father's assets, and this is a frequent occurrence when a relative dies.
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Old 05-19-2017, 9:03 AM
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I don't think you need a lawyer. Add your name to his accounts. Write a letter leaving you everything, have him sign it and notarized.

Only show it if a bank or DMV needs proof. Have copies of the death certificate.

Just put the guns in your safe and don't mention them to the state. It would just confuse them.

Good luck with your Dad.
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Old 05-19-2017, 9:06 AM
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We went through with with my uncle and then with my mother-in-law.

Even with a trust and a will for my mother-in-law we had to use attorneys to settle the estate. Of course there was real estate involved, as well as a variety of actual beneficiaries.

In contrast when my uncle passed away (no will, no beneficiaries), my father (as the nearest living relative), took possession of his personal property, his bank accounts and such. No lawyers needed, even though there was debt and some contracts.

So its all gonna vary depending on the situation. However the more that can be put in your name, before he goes in for surgery, the better off you are going to be.
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Old 05-19-2017, 9:12 AM
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Originally Posted by RandyD View Post
Sorry to hear about the condition of your father. I am an attorney. If your father dies with a will or without a will, his assets are subject to going through probate. A trust will avoid probate. Based on what the OP has said, I am assuming there are minimal assets, since he rents an apartment. Usually only valuable assets and those with a title such as a financial accounts and vehicles will be subject to probate. If your father puts your name on all titled assets, such as vehicles and financial accounts, you should be fine. However, other family members could assert an interest in your father's assets, and this is a frequent occurrence when a relative dies.

Thank you. Yes, he has minimal assets - about $10k in the bank, his car, and firearms are the only things of real value.

So what I really want to know is what would happen to his firearms? Do I leave them in his apartment (who would take possession of them)? Should I take them and put in my gun safe? Do i need to notify the police or...?
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Old 05-19-2017, 9:21 AM
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Originally Posted by delta9 View Post
So what I really want to know is what would happen to his firearms? Do I leave them in his apartment (who would take possession of them)? Should I take them and put in my gun safe? Do i need to notify the police or...?
Fill out an oplaw listing the guns as transferred to you. Have him sign it, but leave the date blank. Put it in a safe place. If something happens, back date it and send it in with the $19 extortion fee. The guns will then be legally registered to you. This was advise to me from a gun attorney.
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Old 05-19-2017, 9:22 AM
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Whatever you do, do NOT "notify the Police". No need and there's a chance you'll never see those guns again.
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Old 05-19-2017, 9:26 AM
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I'm in a similar situation myself. The difference is he already gave me them about 5yrs ago so it's no problem. I'm sure the same thing happened with you right?
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Old 05-19-2017, 9:36 AM
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Originally Posted by delta9 View Post
Thanks but he is pretty adimant that he doesn't need a will. Doesn't believe in lawyers and he has no debt.

If he passes can I just take possession of his guns? What steps are necessary for me to make it legal?
If he dies without a will, lawyers will handle the disposition of his estate according to what gets them the most billable hours. If he makes a will, a lawyer he pays will handle the disposition of his estate according to his wishes. Either way there will be lawyers involved.
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Old 05-19-2017, 9:37 AM
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If the 2 rifles are unregistered then just take possession of them and keep your mouth shut. You can always claim you purchased them from a gun store that went out of business years ago, and there will be no paper trail.
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Old 05-19-2017, 9:39 AM
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You guys always seem to make it more difficult than it needs to be - he doesn't need or want to be lectured on wills.

As long as you have a valid Firearm Safety Certificate (if not get one) just fill out this form and pay the $19 - one $19 fee covers all the guns he has and mail it off to them.

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/a...orms/oplaw.pdf

VI. Report of Intra-Familial Firearm Transaction

The Report of Intra-Familial Firearm Transaction is used by family members if, both reside in California, who would like to claim title or possession of a firearm by gift, bequest, and intestate succession or by any other means from an immediate family member. An “immediate family member” is defined in California Penal Code section 16720 for purposes of this exemption as a parent, grandparent, child or grandchild. This form must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the transfer. The receiving family member must have a valid Firearm Safety Certificate, or, in the case of a handgun, a valid unexpired Handgun Safety Certificate. See Cal. Penal Code § 27875
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:11 AM
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I would take his firearms now and put them in your safe
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bronco75a View Post
You guys always seem to make it more difficult than it needs to be - he doesn't need or want to be lectured on wills.

As long as you have a valid Firearm Safety Certificate (if not get one) just fill out this form and pay the $19 - one $19 fee covers all the guns he has and mail it off to them.
You are at least the third person in this thread to suggest that and OP doesn't seem to be interested.

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If the 2 rifles are unregistered then just take possession of them and keep your mouth shut. You can always claim you purchased them from a gun store that went out of business years ago, and there will be no paper trail.
Except for the teeny tiny fact that when FFLs go out of business they send their 4473s to the ATF.

It's weird how a forum for "law abiding gun owners" is full of suggestions for breaking the law.
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Getting called a DOJ shill has become a rite of passage around here. I've certainly been called that more than once - I've even seen Kes get called that. I haven't seen Red-O get called that yet, which is very suspicious to me, and means he's probably a DOJ shill.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delta9 View Post
Thank you. Yes, he has minimal assets - about $10k in the bank, his car, and firearms are the only things of real value.

So what I really want to know is what would happen to his firearms? Do I leave them in his apartment (who would take possession of them)? Should I take them and put in my gun safe? Do i need to notify the police or...?
If your father put you on as a joint tenant on his financial accounts and vehicle, then by operation of law, those assets pass to you upon his death. You may want to insure that you are listed as a joint tenant.

Regarding the firearms, I do not deal with firearms statutes. However, I think you would be exercising good judgment by taking possession and locking them in a safe. To properly transfer them to you, I would recommend first reading and understanding your rights and then take the proper steps to transfer them.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:49 AM
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Every one should have a will.

You can do it at home with two witnesses. No lawyer needed.

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/d.../Will-Form.pdf
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:22 AM
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If he does't have a trust, his estate will require probate to legally settle the estate. And probate is most certainly a pain and the Gov will take 10%. Why would anyone want to give the government more than what they've already taken?

Once in probate if they can't establish his wishes (by way of a will) things could get messy. Without a will, things tend to pass to the wife and/or then the family members if there is no wife. However, anyone could make a claim on the estate. And there are people who do this. They watch for probate hearings and then make a claim in the hopes that the family will pay them some money to go away.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:24 AM
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He can set up a living trust on his own (maybe with your help if necessary). No lawyer needed.

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/d...f-living-trust
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bronco75a View Post
You guys always seem to make it more difficult than it needs to be - he doesn't need or want to be lectured on wills.

As long as you have a valid Firearm Safety Certificate (if not get one) just fill out this form and pay the $19 - one $19 fee covers all the guns he has and mail it off to them.

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/a...orms/oplaw.pdf

VI. Report of Intra-Familial Firearm Transaction

The Report of Intra-Familial Firearm Transaction is used by family members if, both reside in California, who would like to claim title or possession of a firearm by gift, bequest, and intestate succession or by any other means from an immediate family member. An “immediate family member” is defined in California Penal Code section 16720 for purposes of this exemption as a parent, grandparent, child or grandchild. This form must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the transfer. The receiving family member must have a valid Firearm Safety Certificate, or, in the case of a handgun, a valid unexpired Handgun Safety Certificate. See Cal. Penal Code § 27875


Thank you! You answered my question
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SonofWWIIDI View Post
He can set up a living trust on his own (maybe with your help if necessary). No lawyer needed.

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/d...f-living-trust
According the the web site, pricing starts at $249
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:31 AM
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I would encourage you to do a little reading on the subject. In California and if his assets are under $100K, it appears that you can legally avoid probate. But I believe this is predicated on their being a will.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/probate-faq.html

https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ug...ose-of-probate
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kurac View Post
He needs a trust and a will, that way you can avoid probate which takes months and costs thousands.
^^^ This.

As the only child there will likely be no issues with any inheritance, but you DO WANT to avoid all the extra steps required if there is no will. They provide absolutely no value to you and they DO cost money.

We are talking "lawyer money," not your "working man money" - if they charge you $20 to have an intern copy documents, imagine what they'll charge you for an attorney having to fill out the form and print it on his new expensive printer in his large corner office in a nice and expensive business building.

There is real value attorneys provide (look at our litigation, or at what defense attorneys do), but filling out routine forms and wasting time in court is not one of them.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delta9 View Post
Thank you. Yes, he has minimal assets - about $10k in the bank, his car, and firearms are the only things of real value.

So what I really want to know is what would happen to his firearms? Do I leave them in his apartment (who would take possession of them)? Should I take them and put in my gun safe? Do i need to notify the police or...?
I'm going to hope your Dad will do fine in surgery. They do this kind of thing all the time and people do fine. They would not operate if they didn't think the surgery will help. 70 is not that old. As to your Dad's possessions, there is the law and there is reality. Since your Dad has few assets, it is quite simple. If you are the sole surviving heir, then you have a reasonable expectation you will receive all his goods. If you are of age and not a prohibited person, file a inter-family transfer and take the guns (for safe keeping). The one problem might be accessing cash if your Dad passes. His accounts will be frozen at death (or they should be). You should ask your Dad to gift you enough to take care of final expenses and miscellaneous costs. Just have him write you a check. The tax limit is around 13,000 bucks this year per person.
Wishing the best.

P.S. Get a will and a medical directive, yesterday. You don't need a trust with your assets.
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Old 05-19-2017, 1:29 PM
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first of all, sorry to hear about your father
just a suggestion.
you might want to write a will, and only list the firearms on the will. do not list any assests or property. and get it nortarized. if he does pass on, you may only need the death certificate as evidence.
if he does pass on, you want to write yourself a check for $10,000 or less to avoid gift tax. you want to take the money before the medical bills start coming.

do not sign a financial responsibility document.
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