Legalese by Kate Fletcher

Do you travel a lot? Does your spouse or maybe one of your parents?  What happens to all of those frequent flyer miles when the traveler dies?  The answer is, of course, "it depends."  

I researched and inquired with a variety of airlines and the answers were not uniform. Although the airline written policy might be to NOT transfer miles upon death, if you ask the right questions, of the right person, you may succeed. My advice is to specify in your estate planning documents who should receive the miles and if you are the recipient, call the airline and ask (nicely) to have the miles transferred to you.  

If you are not named as the beneficiary in an estate planning documents, you will probably only be eligible to receive the miles if you are the "next of kin." Likely, a death certificate, affidavit and/or signed form(s) will be required. Perseverance should get the miles transferred. As a reminder, miles can be transferred to others as a gift or to provide emergency travel.