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What to do with miles when someone dies... ? (Definitive Thread)

What to do with miles when someone dies... ? (Definitive Thread)

Old Apr 27, 02, 8:18 pm
  #1  
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How To Handle the SkyMiles Account of a Deceased Spouse or Relative

My brother passed away last week. Has over 200K miles in his DL account. Family would like to use them if possible.

Is there any way to transfer his miles to my account so I can obtain award tickets for my family?

If not, is there any other way we can recover these miles? My family feels that it would be a shame for these miles to just 'disappear' due to his passing.

Any thoughts, ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Old Apr 27, 02, 10:56 pm
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Sorry to hear about your loss, but in a word, YES. My sister passed away in January; a letter to SkyMiles along with a copy of the death certificate plus a copy of the obituary where you are named along with your relationship to the deceased is all it takes. Posting was within 3 weeks, as I recall.
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Old Apr 28, 02, 9:21 am
  #3  
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I thought this was in a posting a while back. I believe that at that time it was said that miles need to be in will.

Works for some programs not others. IE, Hilton points supposedly die with member. That's why you join Mutual Fund.

Someone please help clarify.
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Old Apr 28, 02, 10:30 am
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Sorry about your loss.

I don't have specific information, but many programs will respect a will if there was one. A will typically names someone called an executor to administer the will. Therefore, some programs will require a letter from the executor directing where the points should go.

If there was not a will, state law generally determines where property goes. This can get extremely complicated, but generally it goes to a spouse if there is one, if not to the kids, if not to siblings, if not to parents. So if you are a sibling, you might want to point out that your brother did not have a spouse or kids since it would be reasonable for an airline to be inclinded to give the points to the surviving spouse (if there is one) or surviving kids (if there are any) before giving them to surviving siblings. I'm not saying this is right or wrong, only that this generally is the predetermined order of inheritance in most states if you die without a will.
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Old Apr 28, 02, 10:46 am
  #5  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Kwaj girl:
Sorry to hear about your loss, but in a word, YES. My sister passed away in January; a letter to SkyMiles along with a copy of the death certificate plus a copy of the obituary where you are named along with your relationship to the deceased is all it takes. Posting was within 3 weeks, as I recall.</font>
With all due respect Kwaj, but there must have been a bit more to your situation. For example, what if another sister, brother, son, daughter, wife, etc wrote letters and wanted the miles. Who would get them?

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Old Apr 28, 02, 11:23 am
  #6  
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one more thing.. the miles will be posted as bonus and not base miles. And if they were under the old frequent flier program, they will be posted as SkyMiles.

Kwaj is correct. DL makes the transfer relatively easily and quickly, with proper documentation.

[This message has been edited by jeffreyt (edited 04-28-2002).]
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Old Apr 29, 02, 7:04 am
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Sorry to hear about your loss Brilove.
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Old Apr 29, 02, 7:09 am
  #8  
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Just for the purposes of discussion -- I would NEVER NEVER do this, of course! -- who says that an airline needs to be told about a death? If you know the deceased's PIN, you can continue to order awards from the account until it's cleaned out. Airlines don't match their frequent flyer account records against state-issued death certificates, like Social Security does.

In this case, that deception is unnecessary because Delta is pretty obliging about transferring miles, but wouldn't my approach work in general? Only if you know the PIN, of course.

Bruce
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Old Apr 29, 02, 7:53 am
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Thank you all for your kind thoughts.

I appreciate all of the information very much. Sounds like Delta will be able to take care of this in a relatively painless manner.

Yes, we thought of the idea of keeping the account open. Unfortunately, we don't have his PIN. I have requested that it be sent to his address, but that will take a couple weeks. We may end up doing this for the other airlines and hotel programs he was in (US Air, Continental, United, Marriott, Hilton) if they end up being uncooperative.

Thanks again for the answers and the kind thoughts!
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Old Apr 29, 02, 4:43 pm
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NoStressHere: My other sister was the executor of my late sister's will and the letter came from her. Even though the Skymiles account was not mentioned in the will, my other sister (the only other close living relative other than myself) did not want the miles for herself so sent the letter and documentation to Delta. 'Nuf said.
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Old Jan 17, 04, 10:05 am
  #11  
 
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Transfer DL miles after death of spouse?

I couldn't find an answer to this question searching on this site or Delta.com. Is it possible to get the miles of a deceased member transferred to the account of the surviving spouse?
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Old Jan 17, 04, 10:16 am
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Hi uthornsgo.

From GRS:

IF TO SPOUSE -AND- MLG UNDER 50000..SND TO SVC CTR:
LETTER RQSTG XFR MUST INCLUDE NAME/ADDRS/ID NBRS MUST SEND COPY OF DEATH CERTIF INDICATING SPOUSE NAME (CERTIFIED COPY NOT REQUIRED).

IF MILEAGE 50000/OVER -OR- BEING GIVEN TO OTHER THAN SPOUSE:

HAVE THE RES AGT TRANSFER YOUR CALL TO "ASPECT 9711" TO LEAVE MAILING INFO ON RECORDER. DL WILL SEND AFFIDAVIT TO BE COMPLETED AND RETURNED WITH COPY OF DEATH CERTIFICATE.

------------------
I am not a sanctioned representative of Delta on these boards, just an interested participant. I'm only here trying to shed light on DL issues brought up on this board and to provide my opinion and/or to try to answer Qs. I do work for Delta, but I don't represent DL's final word when answering a question (in any capacity). Please e-mail Customer Care with your questions to get a corporately-supported reply.www.delta.com/email
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Old Jan 17, 04, 10:19 am
  #13  
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UDH, does this mean that miles do not have to be in Will?
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Old Jan 17, 04, 10:49 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by mikey1003:
UDH, does this mean that miles do not have to be in Will?</font>
That's correct. There just has to be the proof as stated by UDH.

Keep in mind though, DL only transfers them as SkyMiles. So, if you have a wife and she had 200,000 OLD miles in her account and dies, the husband would receive 200,000 SKyMiles, not the Old Miles.

[This message has been edited by jeffreyt (edited Jan 17, 2004).]
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Old Jan 17, 04, 12:08 pm
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Also, the transfer transaction itself does not constitute activity for purposes of extending the transferee's account mileage expiration date.
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