Review: SilencerCo’s EasyTrust – How easy is it?

SilencerCo-Trust

I live in California (yes, yes, I know) and therefore am not allowed to own silencers here. However, I can own and use them in silencer-friendly states via an NFA trust. TFB previously covered the pros and cons of creating an NFA trust here. In short, yes, it seems to be worth it.

The question: is there an affordable, fast way to create an NFA trust when you are starting from scratch like me?

I took SilencerCo’s new “EasyTrust” NFA trust product for a spin, and I’ll share my experience with you here. The magical path to NFA-land is as follows:

A) Go to www.silencerco.com/nfa-trust and plunk down your credit card to buy the $129.99 EasyTrust product.

B) After checkout and waiting a few minutes, you’ll receive an email which contains a unique URL. That link takes you to a SilencerCo webform where you’ll go through seven quick steps:

1. Read the information, warnings/disclaimers, and instructions on how to fill out the form.

2. Enter your Settlor’s name (Settlor is the name of the person who is giving their property to the trust. This person should live in a silencer-legal state. My good friend who lives in Utah is the Settlor for our trust).

3. Enter your trustee name(s). I put my name as a trustee, and there is space for seven more names. More can be added via an addendum you’d have to create separately. The Settlor automatically becomes a trustee and you don’t have to add his/her name in this field.

4. List your beneficiaries. These are the people who will inherit the trust property should all the trustees die.

5. Choose your trust name. SilencerCo provides clear, simple guidance.

6. Enter the county, parish, or borough the Settlor lives in.

7. Review your information.

C) After submitting your info, the website tells you you’re done and to wait 15-20 minutes for a final email containing the following PDF files: next steps and FAQ, the trust, and a trust amendment form.

This could soon be yours. #OspreyHenge by @SilencerCo on Instagram.

This could soon be yours. #OspreyHenge by @SilencerCo on Instagram.

That’s it as far as SilencerCo’s involvement with the trust. If you go through these steps without hesitating, you could finish in about 5 minutes, assuming their servers process your info in a timely manner. However, I wanted to be careful so it took me about 15-20 minutes to fill everything out. Overall, it was drop-dead easy, and I really liked the slick SilencerCo web UI and easy to use form fields.

The final step to complete your trust is to have all parties sign the document — certain states require notaries, witnesses, and/or registering the trust at a courthouse. Once these steps are completed, you can bring your trust to your FFL and purchase your goods!

SilencerCo has a few suggestions for the safekeeping of the trust, and I like how their FAQ is fairly absent of legal jargon.

I have some suggestions for SilencerCo to make this product even better:

1) Make it very clear that the Settlor must live in a NFA-friendly state.

2) On Step #7 above, to “review your information” you must use the back buttons. It would be super convenient if all the info I just entered on the previous pages was displayed on the Step #7 page.

3) At some point after completing the trust, I’d really like SilencerCo to direct users to the education section of their site where you can “Find a Dealer” and also read about what the deal is about the “One Dollar” in the Schedule A.

4) I’d also like SilencerCo to direct users to their awesome page “How to Purchase” [a silencer] since this is where you learn how to fill out a Form 4 when using a trust. I stumbled onto this info, but it would have been nice if the email I mentioned in Part C above included a “Getting Started” PDF with links to all the next steps beyond setting up your trust.

I’m aware that there are cheaper online products out there which help folks create NFA trusts. I have not used them, but I did a bit of research and found it challenging to figure out which ones were legit, and which ones were ripoffs.

The value SilencerCo brings in their EasyTrust product is that they are a trusted name who has a reputation for putting out quality products. I did not have to spend any money on lawyers to create the trust. I found EasyTrust very easy to use and I am optimistic their product will help increase the number of NFA trust holders, and by extension increase the number of silencer users and owners across the country.

www.silencerco.com/nfa-trust

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer and never want to be one. All information in this article should not be construed as legal advice. Consult a lawyer for legal advice.



Chris Cheng

Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.

www.TopShotChris.com.


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  • Ethan

    Great article Chris. Stuff like this really removes the mystery from the process, and along with it much apprehension for the un-initiated.

  • Black_Viper

    Its so easy I was able to do it! So glad that I did. My trust is going in 3-ways on a suppressor! Makes life in the NFA world that much more FREE, as it should be.

  • nova3930

    I looked at all the online trust options before I had mine drawn up. I decided that given the dire consequences of getting it wrong, that I’d go find a local probate attorney versed in estate planning to ensure my trust complied with state law….

    • HSR47

      The thing to keep in mind is that your average attorney specializing in estate planning can’t be counted on to know all the ins and outs of laws relating to firearms.

      On the whole, compared to the firearm-specific issues, drafting a legal trust is fairly simple.

  • Ted

    It’s interesting how everyone evaluates the Trust instrument ion how easy it is I get rather than how easy is it (or not) to understand. Looking at ARFCOM and elsewhere, it’s shocking how many people don’t understand how to use their trust, then expect their shooting buddy to pick up the pieces when they finally have to actually step in and do Trustee stuff.

    When this generation of settlors dies, I fear that we’ll be seeing an en masse confiscation of valuable NFA firearms due to improper transfers or other regulated actions because of trustee and/or beneficiary lack of understanding on what happens next…

    • J Johnson

      I used Colleen Walker in Brookline, NH… $350 well spent! Already done a form 4 and eform 1 with no issues.

      • Ethan

        I wonder, would you be willing to share a copy of your trust?
        Redacted of all personal information of course..

        • Harold

          I’m sure he would for $350.

          • Ethan

            Lol. Fair point.

    • Harold

      That may happen with or without bad trusts!

  • Jeff S

    Virginia residents, check out John Pierce – great price and excellent service for your firearms trust.

    • KestrelBike

      What area of va? Online info?

  • Ethan

    Could those of you who have a Trust constructed by a lawyer, could you list roughly what you paid for that service?

    Background: I’ve heard of it being typically $150-$400, but when calling a local attorney who “specializes” in this area I was told “$2,500, but I’ll cut you a deal for $1,800”.

    • David

      I hired an attorney in MO and it cost me $300

    • RICH

      Hi Ethan,
      I paid $250 to have my trust done by an attorney that was well versed in all of the NFA laws. I feel it was well worth it. I received the original and he also provided me with about six extra copies. When I went to his office to sign it and pick it up he had the witnesses needed as well as the notary. The trust ended up being about 10 pages. if you get one drawn up get copies where it’s printed on both sides and it will save you money in postage when you submit your paperwork to BATF&E for your tax stamp. Then….. still plan on waiting 8 to 10 months after submission until atf sends you the tax stamp !! Hope I was of some help…….

    • WFDT

      Cost me $300 in Maryland.

  • RICH

    I have made a few suppressor purchases (AT form 4) on my trust as well as a form 1 registration (SBR I built). The one thing you have to make certian is if your trust is listed in a NFA state other than where you reside, whatever you register through your trust has to be legal in the state in which you reside and keep that item (ie, suppressor, SBR).
    EXAMPLE…. I live in Illinois and my trust is addressed in Kentucky. NFA items are illegal in Illinois but legal in Kentucky. Having an item (suppressor) registered to a trust with a Kentucky would allow me to have it in Ky but it is still illegal for me to possess that item (suppressor) in Illinois as a suppressor is illegal to possess or own in the state of Illinois.
    Be very careful…. a violation of NFA regs is punishable by up to 10 yrs & $100,000.00 fine. I don’t know what the state penalty would be but you would loose your goodies.

  • Some Dude

    Is there an affordable attorney in Indianapolis who does NFA Trusts?

  • Some Dude

    Don’t you have to mail the Trust to the ATF along with a fingerprint card plus a $200 check once it is completed in order to have it approved? Does this SilencerCo method do away with that step? I was under the impression that it would first have to be approved before I could start using it. Details please. Thanks.

    • Harold

      When you actually purchase an NFA item – yes, but not when you simply create a trust.

    • Trust Me

      The ATF doesn’t have to approve your trust when it is created. On top of that, if you use a trust for a purchase, you don’t have to submit fingerprint cards (because an entity has no fingers to get prints from) – also no CLEO signature and no photographs. You will still have to pay the lovely $200 tax and submit a Form 4 with a copy of your trust docs when you purchase the suppressor.

  • Meno

    KB, and that persons name is? Thanks

    • KestrelBike

      Background: I have no connection with him other than being on the same gun forum, and hearing other people’s testimonies about their happiness with his product/service. Because I am now in a different state than him, he couldn’t setup a trust for me, otherwise I most likely would have gone with him.

      If you’re interested, send a blank email to NFATrust <> WoodardLaw <> com (substitute symbols for words, obviously @ and .) and it will auto-respond with more information on how to directly contact, etc.