Explosive New Law in Estates with Firearms-The SAFE Act of 2013
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You've been nominated as an Executor in a will but not appointed yet.  Or, worse yet, a person dies without a will and you may or may not be appointed as the Administrator.  The person owns firearms at the time of his or her death.  What's a fiduciary to do? New York recently passed a new law requiring the Fiduciary of estates to report the firearms owned by a Decedent. The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act of 2013 requires each estate that is required to file an inventory of assets with the Surrogate's Court to include on the inventory a specific description of every firearm, shotgun, and rifle owned by the Decedent. A copy must be filed with the Division of Criminal Justice Services. The filing is not public and can only be made available to individuals specifically interested in the proceeding (such as distributees and their counsel). The fiduciary may lawfully possess the decedent's firearms for up to 15 days for the sole purpose of lawfully disposing of the firearms, pursuant to New York State Penal Law Section 265.20.  If the fiduciary is not able to do so in 15 days, he or she is required to surrender the firearm to a law enforcement agency for safekeeping.  The firearm can be deposited for up to a year with such agency. During that year, the firearm can be transferred to a named individual who is licensed or otherwise lawfully permitted to possess that particular firearm upon the written request of the fiduciary.
Posted under: Estate Litigation

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