fbpx

Airlines May Ignore the Fine Print on Frequent Flier Miles

Frequent flyerIf you are a member of an airline rewards program, take a look at the fine print of the program's terms and conditions. You will most likely find language to the effect that any accumulated points are not transferrable on death. However, that might not actually be true.

Airlines are eager to sign customers up to rewards programs. For frequent travelers these are often great deals, as they can often get free or reduced cost airfare, especially if they fly on the same airline repeatedly. There is a real monetary value for the account holders.

Nevertheless, not everyone uses his or her accumulated point balance before passing away. Since the accumulated points do have a real value, the question then becomes whether or not they are part of a decedent's estate. The answer to that turns out to be no, unless an airline decides to make an exception.

Time recently reported on this issue in an article titled "What Happens to Your Airline Miles When You Die?" It turns out that while most rewards programs have an official written policy that points are not transferrable on death, in reality, most airlines will make exceptions to that policy on a case-by-case basis. If the points are bequeathed to someone, most airlines are willing to transfer the points upon receiving proof of death and proof that the person asking is the appropriate beneficiary.

This practice is discretionary, however, and the real key to getting the rewards transferred appears to be to ask nicely. Airline employees are not required to transfer the points, but if the beneficiary is nice they normally will.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.  However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project.  Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707.

Reference: Time (July 31, 2015) "What Happens to Your Airline Miles When You Die?"

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

LIKE THIS POST?

We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.