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What happens to miles (points) upon death?

What happens to miles (points) upon death?

Old Sep 19, 99, 2:40 am
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: San Francisco UA1K; AA Gold
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What happens to miles (points) upon death?

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere, but does anybody know how the various programs treat miles or points when the accountholder dies?

For example, I asked United about this in the early 90's, and was told they were inheritable. But when a friend died in '95, his partner was told the miles died with him.

Although my particular interests are UA, AA, US, Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, & Starwood, surely this topic is of enough general interest to warrant posting here instead of on each individual program.

And just in case, I've told my parents (who have disability power of attorney) that if my health fails they should cash in everything and have a great time!
johna is offline  
Old Sep 19, 99, 9:52 am
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I'm not attorney but was personally shocked at how literally worthless my POA for my mom and dad seemed to be when they each successively became ill. They did little (essentially no estate planning) to plan and literally lost nearly everything with strokes and attendant poor health. I'd taken the time and paid the money to seek a well known elder care specialist and it really did not help very much. I'd suggest that you take the time early and ask lots of questions so you can plan adequately- especially for the many important matters other than FF miles and points!
doc is offline  
Old Sep 19, 99, 10:22 am
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Location: Ormond Beach, FL USA
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I know of one case where Delta gave a widow her husbands miles, but I think that is rare.
I have also seen where a hotel program(Radisson?) has provisions for death and divorce. This leads me to think the value od point/miles is being appreciated more.
flyguy is offline  
Old Sep 19, 99, 10:47 am
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Seattle
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I have a friend whose father had lots and lots of miles in his account when he died. My friend simply used them up without telling the airline that his father was deceased.

How would they know?
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Old Sep 19, 99, 11:32 am
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There was a write up in the September 1998 issue of Inside Flyer magazine, on this very subject. It can be found on-line (until the end of the month) at http://www.webflyer.com/@flyer/arcdom/sep98/cover2.htm

You can get some understanding of why Canadian Airlines supporters are so vocal in their support, even in the face of "impending doom," from the following excerpt from the article:
However, it isn't always such a struggle to transfer miles. Consider the reader who was named the executor of a friend's estate upon his death in 1995. The friend had left all his Canadian Plus miles to his male partner. "I forwarded instructions to Canadian that they be transferred to the partner's account, since Canadian Plus allows points to be given to a spouse on the member's death. A copy of the will and death certificate were sent to Canadian. Canadian made the transfer without fuss, accepting our definition of spouse, and even wrote a nice letter to his partner. I was impressed."

Ken Hamer
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Old Sep 19, 99, 1:49 pm
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Has anyone had experience with FF miles in a divorce settlement? Afterall, these could be considered part of the property that must be divided between the separating spouses under most state and provincial laws.

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Old Sep 19, 99, 2:06 pm
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The same article (above) also deals with divorce.
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Old Sep 20, 99, 2:10 pm
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Join Date: May 1998
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My lawyer told me my miles will go POOF when I'm gone for good.

When I asked if I have a wife he said the same would hold true (although he said he would fight for the miles IF I put it in my will. Chances of winning, slim.)

Maybe the law will change.

Right now: I don't think the airlines would buy me leaving my many many miles and points to Yaz & Sir Edwin Landseer.

Catman is offline  
Old Sep 20, 99, 5:57 pm
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: South Florida USA
Programs: DL-MM/FC/FO AA-EXP/MM Starwood-Platinum Marriott-Platinum Hilton-Gold Hyatt-Diamond
Posts: 1,514
When my dad passed away all DL required to transfer them to my mother was a copy of his death certificate.....

Substantially less proof than they demanded from me to refund the 50% bereavement discount after the fact. But thats another story, and why I stopped flying DL and went to UA 10 years ago. (im back on DL again though!)

TWA has no provisions for xfer to spouse upon death.

Tolarian Wind is offline  
Old Sep 20, 99, 6:20 pm
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Location: CH-3823 Wengen Switzerland
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from UA I positively know that they transfer the miles to surviving partner or children (they confirmed so last year in writing - but I have no idea where I did file this info then).
Rudi is offline  
Old Sep 20, 99, 8:36 pm
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Location: Upstate, New York, US
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Marriott Rewards allows you to transfer to
a spouse on death. It's described in the
Terms & Conditions.
billhallNY is offline  
Old Sep 23, 99, 11:50 am
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When my Uncle died, AA gave my Aunt his miles. It took almost a year but it did happen.
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Old Sep 24, 99, 1:45 am
Join Date: Feb 1999
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Programs: UA Gold Million Miler, HH Gold, Marriott Gold
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When my mother died, I tried to transfer her airline points to my dad but her totals were so small that the fee the airlines charge was greater than the value of the miles. So far as I remember, TWA, UAL, AA were involved and all have a fee. Send in death certificate. I cannot remember if non-spouses can inherit.
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Old Sep 24, 99, 9:25 pm
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cambridge MA, United States
Posts: 69
UA transferred my Dad's miles to my Mom's Mileage Plus account when he died and they required a certified copy of his death certificate. The transfer was smooth and took about a month but they made it clear in their letter that they weren't required to transfer any miles at all.

From AQ AlohaPass Terms and Conditions:

" . . . Membership and any credits remaining are terminated upon death of the member."

So my Mom and I lost out on all of these.

I'm still working on Northwest.

Titus is offline  
Old Sep 24, 99, 9:39 pm
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cambridge MA, United States
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Sorry, duplicate post.

[This message has been edited by Titus (edited 09-24-1999).]
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