Specific Distributions - Vinyl CollectionOne of the books I am currently reading is set against the backdrop of the French music industry. The role of vinyl records (and even some cassettes) is an important part of the story. If you've paid attention to the news about the music industry, vinyl records have been making quite the comeback. Although they won't be the main driver of music sales anytime soon, there is a growing market for vinyl records, which is causing more people to have vinyl record collections again.

The size of my vinyl collection has grown and shrunk over the years, but I'm still always on the lookout for a good limited edition vinyl release to add to the stacks. When it comes to your estate plan, your vinyl record collection (or comic book collection, baseball cards, whatever you collect) can be part of your legacy. It doesn't have to be thrown out as part of your household items or sold at a bargain price at a garage sale. Using specific distributions, you can make sure that your collection is given to someone who will truly value and enjoy it.

What is a Specific Distribution?

A specific distribution is just what it sounds like. It is a specific provision of your will that gives a specific item (or items) to individuals or charities. It is commonly near the beginning of your will. This is because many times, you want the distributions to happen before the rest of your assets are divided up.

How Does It Work?

A specific distribution is often laid out like this:

  • Who is the distribution given to (a person, a group of people, a charity)?
  • What type of property is involved (money, real estate, other property)?
  • How much is being distributed (usually in the case of money a set amount)?
  • What happens if the person dies before you?

What Does It Look Like?

An example of a specific distribution provision would be,

As soon as practicable after my death, I give and bequeath $10,000 to John Doe. If John Doe is deceased, then this distribution will lapse, and this property instead will be distributed under the other provisions of my Will. Property passing under this section passes free of any administrative expenses or death taxes.


What Do I Do Now?

This is the easiest question of all. The answer is that you think about what you have that you want to go to specific people and make sure that you are using specific distributions so that they get the property you want them to. In some states, you can use a Personal Property Memorandum to list out all of the property and who it goes to (but this isn't available in all states, so you'll want to make sure you've got the right documents to protect your legacy).

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Next Steps

Specific Distributions are an important part of personalizing your estate plan (and a checkbox often overlooked by those form websites that offer you a $99 will). Let's set up a Legal Strategy Session to review the best ways to protect your legacy and make sure that vinyl collection goes to the right person...

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.
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