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In a recent blog post, we discussed the importance of making sure your estate plan incorporates your wishes for passing your digital assets to your loved ones. In the absence of careful planning, it can be difficult for family members to gain access to social networking accounts, email accounts, digital photo and video storage, websites you administer, and even legal control over your electronic devices themselves.
By planning ahead — both in your estate planning documents and, in some cases, directly with the businesses where you have accounts — you can help ensure an orderly transition for your digital life. But, what about other potentially valuable intangible digital assets like frequent flyer miles and hotel reward program points? Can you transfer accrued miles or points to family members or friends when you die?
The answer depends largely on the airline or hotel rewards program’s specific terms and conditions. As detailed in a blog post by The Points Guy, different program administrators take different stances about transferring miles or points. Some make the process easy, requiring only that loved ones submit a request with a death certificate. Other programs strictly prohibit transfers.
One thing you can do is make sure a trusted family member or friend has your login credentials for your frequent flyer, hotel, or other rewards program account. With that information, they may be able to continue using your miles or points after you die, without having to involve the rewards program at all. In most cases, family members or friends should be able to use your miles and points for their own stays or tickets. You may also want to consider specifically incorporating language into your Will or Trust, bequeathing your miles or points to someone specific.
If your estate planning documents do not address your digital assets, contact us today. In today’s digital age, everyone should consider amending their documents to reflect intangible digital property!