What is a trust?
A trust is a legal way to own property other than in your own name. A trust is made up of 3 components, the settlor, who is the person who provides the property, the trustee, who is the person who manages the property, and the beneficiaries, who are the persons who benefit from the trust.
In a lot of ways, a trust is like a corporation or LLC, with the major difference being that there is no public reporting of assets and property taxes are generally not owed to municipalities for assets held in trust (unlike corporate assets which are taxed annually).
One of the few disadvantages to a trust holding assets deals with your homestead. In Texas, you may lose your homestead tax exemption (which reduces the tax you pay) by holding the home in trust. And since Texas has an unlimited value homestead exemption (subject only to land size limits), most folks do not need to transfer their homestead to a trust to protect it from seizure by creditors.
What can a trust do for me?
A trust allows for some very creative asset management and protection unlike owning property in your own name. For example, if you own a large stock portfolio (or other non-exempt asset) in your name, and you are sued, chances are the stocks will be taken from you and given to your creditors. But if it is held in trust properly, the stocks will be safe from seizure. How this is done is beyond the scope of the website. There may be tax advantages to holding assets in trust, particularly if they are meant to pass from generation to generation.
How do I get a trust?
Because of the potential complexity of setting up a trust, the best way to handle it is through confidential office consultation. The standard hourly rates would apply, but setting up a trust and setting up a trust properly are different enough that having proper attorney advice is critical when you seek to protect assets that are otherwise not exempt from seizure.
What is a Texas Gun Trust?
Regular citizens may not legally own silencers, suppressors, fully-automatic weapons, and similar without special permission (which is usually impossible to obtain unless you "know someone"). However a Texas Gun Trust (as can a corporation or LLC) can own those assets and you can use them every day, completely legally. Please note it is unclear if a convicted felon may possess weapons via a Texas Gun Trust - so you risk apprehension and conviction for felon in possession even if the firearm(s) you possess are possessed in trust. The biggest advantage to owning weapons via trust instead of corporation/LLC has to do with the annual property tax rendition given to your county (which requires corporations/LLC's to list all their assets and pay taxes on them). A trust does not currently have a duty to prepare those tax documents in Texas.
There has been a lot of talk and fear about government seizing guns. Typically legislation is aimed at individuals, and therefore we believe that one of the best ways to protect your firearms and accessories (including higher-capacity magazines) is to have them in trust, that way they are not owned by an individual. While we cannot predict what sort of legislation may come out, we feel confident, based on past legislation, that having a trust would be the safest option if you are interested in protecting your firearms and accessories from government seizure.