When you pass away, gifting specific items to beneficiaries is
usually a straightforward task for your executor. However, there
are some items that you may not be able to gift automatically. You
may need to take proactive steps prior to your death if you wish
for them to be dealt with according to your Will.
Under Western Australian law, a licence is required to own a
firearm. Upon the death of a licensed firearm holder, an executor
should hand in firearms into a local police station or
alternatively to a licensed firearms dealer for safe custody,
regardless of whether the firearms are collectors' items or are
actively used. This is because a firearms licence expires on the
death of the licensee.
If firearms are handed to a licensed firearms dealer, the
executor should inform police of their name and contact details,
the details of the deceased licence holder, and the deceased's
firearm licence number. The executor should also advise police what
is to happen to the firearms, such as if they are to be disposed
of, sold, or gifted under a Will.
If you intend to gift your firearms in your Will, you can take
some steps to assist your executor in attempting to transfer the
firearms to your beneficiaries.
Your executor could be co-licensed for each of the firearms.
This will allow your executor to retain the firearms upon your
death while administering your estate, rather than having to hand
them to police or a firearms dealer. If the executor is co-licensed
and retains the firearms, he or she must inform police of the
whereabouts of the firearms.
To be licensed, an executor must have a genuine reason why they
need a firearm. Being an executor under a Will is not considered a
genuine reason, and in general, it can be difficult to meet the
required test of obtain a firearm licence. Accordingly, you may
wish to choose an executor who can display a genuine reason or
currently holds a firearm licence.
Regardless of whether the executor is able to be co-licensed,
the beneficiaries are ultimately the intended owners of the
firearms and will therefore be required to be licensed. If they are
unable to obtain a licence, they will not be able to take ownership
of your intended firearm gifts. Accordingly, when specifying a gift
of firearms, you may wish to consider if your beneficiary is
currently, or is likely to be, licensed.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
If you are doing a Will, or you are the executor of a deceased estate, consider what taxes and duties could be payable.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).