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How an estate executor may mishandle firearms in an estate

The executor of an estate has many serious responsibilities following the death of the estate owner. Often, individuals name an adult child to handle the duties of estate executor, and this is not always the most prudent decision. One situation that may prove volatile is if the owner of the estate was in possession of firearms. British Columbia law is very strict about how executors must deal with firearms in an estate, and failing to follow these rules may lead to legal trouble.

Even if the executor does not have a license to possess a firearm, he or she may do so temporarily during probate while determining the best way to deal with the weapons. However, if the chosen executor is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a criminal record or other factors, he or she may not facilitate the transfer of the weapons. The executor may have additional concerns if the deceased did not have a license for the weapons or owned prohibited firearms.

The executor of the estate must use all caution to follow the laws for transporting, storing and transferring ownership of any firearms in an estate. It is not enough for an executor to simply pass along a weapon to an heir or even surrender the firearm to the authorities. The executor must follow the appropriate steps for determining who may rightly and lawfully inherit the weapons and how to ensure the firearms get into the correct hands.

Weapons in an estate can lead to a variety of issues between an executor and the heirs. Whether the firearms are valuable antiques or restricted weapons, the estate executor must be diligent to learn and understand the laws that apply. If disputes arise about the handling of firearms in an estate, those involved would be wise to seek the counsel of an experienced British Columbia lawyer.

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