DIY Gun Trust Amendment

DIY Gun Trust Amendment

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First things first: Do you really need to create an Amendment?

The 1st thing to do is determine if you actually need to create an Amendment to your Gun Trust.   If you haven’t submitted a copy of your Gun Trust to the ATF, most of the time you can make the changes directly to your Gun Trust and you can avoid creating an Amendment.   But, if you’re like the Trust Shop guys, odds are good that you submitted a Form 1 or Form 4 to the ATF almost immediately after getting your Gun Trust.   And, once you’ve submitted your Gun Trust to the ATF, if you want to make any changes you have to create an Amendment.

If you got your Gun Trust from the Trust Shop, creating an Amendment is really easy.   All you have to do is enter the changes you want into the Automated Gun Trust Amendment Generator and your Amendment will be created instantaneously & Completely free of charge.   If you didn’t get your Gun Trust from the Trust Shop, you will have to pay someone to create your Amendment or create it yourself.   Creating an Amendment isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but never fear… the Trust Shop guys are here.


What is an Amendment?

Before getting started it is a good idea to understand some of the basics about Amendments.   An Amendment is a document that gets attached to your Gun Trust and becomes a permanent part of the original Gun Trust.   The Amendment replaces the language in the original Gun Trust.   When you create an Amendment you don’t remove any of the existing Gun Trust. You don’t delete or cross out any of the language in the existing trust. &mbsp; Instead, you simply add your changes to the Amendment and give some directions that say the new ;anguage replaces the old. For example:

Bob Hancock has a Gun Trust named the Whisper Quiet Trust.   The Gun Trust says: “John Hancock and Jane Doe are Co-Trustees to the Whisper Quiet Trust.”   When Bob originally created his Gun Trust, John and Jane were his only adult children.   But, Tom (Bob’s next youngest son) just turned 18 and Bob wants to add him to his Gun Trust.   So Bob create an Amendment to his Gun Trust that says: “John Hancock, Jane Doe, and Tom Hancock are Co-Trustees to the Whisper Quiet Trust.”

So, that sounds fairly simple, but the tricky part is making sure you have all of the right information included in the Amendment.   If you don’t do it right, your Amendment may be invalid.


Steps to creating an Amendment

1.   Identify the Amendment

The first thing you need to do is identify the document as an Amendment.   To properly identify the document as an Amendment you must include the folowing information:

  • How many Amendments have been created for your Gun Trust;
  • Your name and a statement that you are the creator if the Gun Trust;
  • The name of your Gun Trust;
  • The County and State where your Gun Trust is located;
  • The date your Gun Trust was originally created; and
  • The date the Amendment will go into effect.

Here is an example of Bob’s Identification paragraph:

This is the First Amendment by Bob Hancock, of Maricopa County, Arizona, as Settlor (the “Settlor”), and Bob Hancock, of Maricopa County, Arizona, as Trustee (the “Trustee”), to the Whisper Quiet Trust dated December 31, 2015. This amendment is dated and will be effective as of January 1, 2018..


2. Prove that the Gun Trust can be Amended

Your Gun Trust is a specialized type of revocable Living Trust.   That means you can Amend your Gun Trust as many times as you want.   But, in order for the Amendment to be valid, it must include the language from your trust that says the Gun Trust can be amended.   Somewhere in your Gun Trust there is a sentence or a paragraph that explains how you have the right to make changes (Amendments) to your Gun Trust.

Bob’s Gun Trust has a paragraph that talks about amending his Gun Trust.   Article VIII of the Whisper Quiet Trust says: “Bob Hancock shall have, and hereby reserves, the continuing right and power, exercisable by Bob Hancock alone, and without the consent or approval of any other person, during any period when Bob Hancock is competent, to amend or revoke this Agreement, in whole or in part.”   So Bob’s Amendment needs to include a reference to Article VIII of his Gun Trust. *  Bob doesn’t need to include the actual language from his Gun Trust, just a reference to the aprt of the trust that talks about revisions. For example, Bob could satisfy this requirement by including the following statement:

In accordance with the right of amendment, I reserved in Article VIII of the Trust, I hereby amend the Whisper Quiet Trust as follows:


3.   Identify the part of the Gun Trust you’re amending

Because Bob wants to add an additional Co-Trustee to his Gun Trust, he needs to include a statement that he is creating an amendment that will replace the paragraph that lists the names of his Co-Trustees.   Bob’s list of Co-Trustees is loacted in Article V of his Gun Trust in Paragraph 2.   So, Bob might identify the part of his Gun Trust that he is changing by including the following statement:

I replace Paragraph 2 of Article V of the Trust to read as follows:


4.   Enter the new information

Bob is adding his son Tom as a Co-Trustee to the Gun Trust.   Bob has already named his older children (John & Jane) as Co-Trustees of the Gun Trust.   So you would think that Bob could simply state that he is adding Tom as a new Co-Trustee, but it idn’t quite that easy.   Because an amended paragraph completely replaces the existing paragraph, Bob will need to list all three kids in the amended paragraph.

Paragraph 2 of Article V in Bob’s Gun Trust currently says:

2. Bob Hancock appoints John Hancock and Jane Doe as Co-Trustees of the Whisper Quiet Trust.

So Bob’s Amendment should state the following:

2. Bob Hancock appoints John Hancock, Jane Doe, and Tom Hancock as Co-Trustees of the Whisper Quiet Trust.


5.   Include a statement that the rest of the Gun Trust remains as-is (unchanged)

Because Bob made changes to a portion of his Gun Trust, he needs to include a statement that the rest of the trust is not included in the Amendment.   For example, Bob could include the following statement at the bottom of the Amendment:

In all other respects I ratify and confirm all of the provisions of the Trust Agreement to the extent not inconsistent with this amendment.


6.   Insert a Signature and Date Block

Anytime you create an Amendment you have to sign and date the document.   Here is an example of what Bob uses as a Signature & Date Block:

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Settlor &amo; Trustee has hereunto set his hand on this 1st day of January, 2018

_________________________________________
Bob Hancock, Settlor & Trustee


7.   Add a place for the Notary to sign

Remember: When you get ready to sign your Amendment, you have to sign it in front of a Notary Public.   Notaries sign their name, record the date, and add their Notary Seal to the document, as proof that they were present when the Amendment was signed.   Here is what Bob added to his Amendment:

State of ________________  )
                                                ) ss.
County of _______________ )

On this 1st day of January , 2018 before me, a Notary Public,
personally appeared Bob Hancock, to me known to be the person described
in and who executed the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged that he
executed the same as his free act and deed.  
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal in the
county and state aforesaid, the day and year first above written.

__________________________
Notary Public

___________________________
Print Name

My Commission Expires _______________ SEAL:


8.  Add a place for the Withesses to sign

Almost every state requires Trust documents to be signed in the presence of 2 Witnesses.   Even if you happen to live in one of the few states that doesn’t require 2 Witnesses, it’s a good idea to add them to your Amendment anyway.   There are several reasons this, but none are more important that the fact that the ATF may deny or delay your ATF Applications.   We’ve heard that the ATF has started denying or delaying Form 1 & 4 Applications that don’t contain 2 witness signatures on all Gun Trust documents (including the Amendment).   You can use anyone as a Witness, so quit moaning and go ask the lady at the gas station to sign her name on the line.

Here is what Bob adds to his Amendment:

On the day and year last above written, this Trust Agreement was duly executed and acknowledged by Bob Hancock, in the presence of us, who thereafter, in his presence, have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses

_______________________   _______________________
Signature Witness 1                 Signature Witness 2

_______________________   _______________________
Address                                     Address

_______________________   _______________________
City, State. Zip                          City, State. Zip


9. Create a Signature Sheet for each new Co-Trustee

Every new Co-Trustee will need their own Signature Sheet, just like the one you will sign. Remember to include a Notary block and a Witness section for each Signature Sheet.   Co-Trustees that were on the old version of your Gun Trust do not need to sign the trust again.


Here is what the final product would look like:

First Amendment to the Whisper Quiet Trust

This is the First Amendment by Bob Hancock, of Maricopa County, Arizona, as Settlor (the “Settlor”), and Bob Hancock, of Maricopa County, Arizona, as Trustee (the “Trustee”), to the Whisper Quiet Trust dated December 31, 2015. This amendment is dated and will be effective as of January 1, 2018.

In accordance with the right of amendment, I reserved in Article VIII of the Trust, I hereby amend the Whisper Quiet Trust as follows:

I replace Paragraph 2 of Article V of the Trust to read as follows:

2. Bob Hancock appoints John Hancock, Jane Doe, and Tom Hancock as Co-Trustees of the Whisper Quiet Trust.

In all other respects I ratify and confirm all of the provisions of the Trust Agreement to the extent not inconsistent with this amendment.


(Bob’s Signature Sheet)

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Settlor & Trustee has hereunto set his hand on this 1st day of January, 2018

_________________________________________
Bob Hancock, Settlor & Trustee

State of ________________  )
                                                ) ss.
County of _______________ )

On this 1st day of January , 2018 before me, a Notary Public, personally appeared Settlor and Trustee Bob Hancock, to me known to be the person described in and who executed the foregoing instrument, having been sworn, declared to the undersigned officer, in the presence of witnesses, that he signed the instrument as his First Amendment to the Whisper Quiet, and acknowledged that he executed the same as his free act and deed.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal in the county and state aforesaid, the day and year first above written.

__________________________
Notary Public

__________________________
Print Name

My Commission Expires _______________ SEAL:

On the day and year last above written, this First Amendment to the Whisper Quiet Trust was duly executed and acknowledged by Bob Hancock, in the presence of us, who thereafter, in his presence, have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses

_______________________   _______________________
Signature Witness 1                  Signature Witness 2

_______________________   _______________________
Address                                     Address

_______________________   _______________________
City, State. Zip                          City, State. Zip


(Tom’s Signature Sheet)

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Co-Trustee has hereunto set his hand on this 1st day of January, 2018

_________________________________________
Tom Hancock, Co-Trustee

State of ________________  )
                                                   ) ss.
County of _______________ )

On this 1st day of January , 2018 before me, a Notary Public, personally appeared Co-Trustee Tom Hancock, to me known to be the person described in and who executed the foregoing instrument, having been sworn, declared to the undersigned officer, in the presence of witnesses, that he signed the instrument as the First Amendment to the Whisper Quiet, and acknowledged that he executed the same as his free act and deed.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal in the county and state aforesaid, the day and year first above written.

__________________________
Notary Public

___________________________
Print Name

My Commission Expires _______________ SEAL:

On the day and year last above written, this First Amendment to the Whisper Quiet was duly executed and acknowledged by Tom Hancock, in the presence of us, who thereafter, in his presence, have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses

_______________________   _______________________
Signature Witness 1                  Signature Witness 2

_______________________   _______________________
Address                                     Address

_______________________   _______________________
City, State. Zip                           City, State. Zip

Note: There is a Signature Page for Bob and an additional Signature Page for Thomas.   Bob has to sign the Amendment because he is the one that is revising the Gun Trust.   Tom has to sign because he is new to the Gun Trust and has to agree to become a Co-Trustee.   John and Jane do not need to sign the Amendment because they already signed the Original Gun Trust.


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