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Wills, Estates and Frequent Flyer Miles

Imagine everyone gathering around the holiday table. Conversation turns personal. Someone asks, “Have you ever talked about what will happen to your frequent flier miles when you die?” You’re right, no one will ask it. In fact, it’s outrageous. Except, the NY Times just did an article on it suggesting that people should consider their mileage, when they consider estate planning.

Here is a short version of the discussion in the article. Some airlines allow you to transfer your mileage and some do not. Airlines that allow it: American, US Airways and JetBlue. Those that don’t allow transfer: Delta and United.

United suggests that if you know the password of a deceased loved one, that you just log in and make a reservation for yourself. Something seems a bit seedy about that.

Estate attorney Mark Gold suggests listing  in a will the passwords, frequent flyer miles and accounts, and hotel points, and then all bequethed. He suggests the following document language: “I give and bequeath the miles or points in my American Airlines AAdvantage account, my Starwood Preferred Guest account, and all other loyalty, mileage and points or similar accounts to (insert)”.

I remember interesting cases during law school that became part of our study in the class of “Wills and Estates”. Beyond that, I always admit that this is a topic of constant change. Plus, states do have different ways of treating estate divisions. Having said that, I still find this topic a bit unusual. But, I guess that it can amount to a great deal of worth. So, no reason to waste a trip!

Speaking of frequent, here is a pic o’ day of shopping:

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