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DEATH! Taxes! & Delta Skymiles!….

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


No one ever wants to think or talk about death. Maybe that is why most do not have a “Will”. Do you have one? I have had one since my early 20’s. I do not update it as much as I should but I have one. Today I have updated my Will with some important information. I have given instructions to my executor to log into my Award Wallet account. I have included my user name and password in my Will (per readers Amar idea in a letter with my Will), as with this my executor will have access to all my accounts on one page as well as any trips I have booked for the next year. Have you ever thought of the advantage of this use for Award Wallet? If you have 1+ million miles they are worth a ton but only if someone knows you have them!


EDIT: The new rule is when you die so do your Skymiles in yet another customer unfriendly move by Delta.


We are Delta flyers. Can you ( the dead person going into the hole above btw ) have your points sent for free to someone living? YES! As you can see here in this PDF from Delta, at least for now with Delta, there is no charge to send your points to who you want to – you just have to die to do this (click below for PDF – pg 26 of members guide).

Other airlines have different rules that may or may not make transferring your points to someone else financially worthwhile since the fees can add up to equal value of your miles. You can read more about this here at flyertalk as well.

So you need a Will. Here is a link for some sample ones you could look at. Why not pull one up if don’t have one or get out your old one, update it, and add your Award Wallet info to it! ( and be sure at have your beneficiary read once they have all your miles ) – René

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. Father Andrew Reply

    YES I have a will and we are required as priests to have a sealed copy of it on file in the Bishop’s office so that when we die our wishes are known for our ‘public’ funeral and burial as the Church (Catholic) takes care of our funeral arrangements for us and for our families. The Bishop usually presides at our funeral either at the Cathedral or at the Church we are serving at. Since most of us live in church owned houses its important that our wills indicate what property is our own and also how we wish our personal property to be divided after we ‘go’ (so to speak). We can also indicate the choices we want for our funeral music, etc. Your article reminded me that I need to update my will and make a few changes…not that I’m in any hurry to ‘go anywhere’ yet but its time to update some of my ‘selections’ for my funeral. 🙂

  2. Yes, most definitely I have a will. But I never thought about what will happen to my miles and points. This post is a brilliant idea.

    You can also include the Award Wallet information in a letter to the executor describing the distribution of your tangible property. The letterrisk is morethe like suggestionsto of yourthe desires rather thanit legally bonding testatory documentation. That way the executor is not bound by your statements of what to do. More importantly, since your will is a legal document, I belive it can be exposed publicly through the the probate process, leaving your Award Wallet information to others; whereas because the letter is non-testatory, I don’t believe it has to be exposed publicly or to anyone except your executor.

    I’m not an estate attorney, but this is just information I’ve read up on recently.

    Thanks for the tip!

  3. Yes
    I have a will.
    Now I need to revise it, I guess, and say who gets my miles

  4. Yes but need to update it.
    BTW, I have a separate letter that my kids know to read..this letter includes my Award Wallet info and other tibits 🙂

  5. I do have a will, and it includes a provision about my miles 🙂 but including a letter with awardwallet password is a good idea, and makes it easy to update when i change my password! Good idea!

  6. Yes, I have one and just updated it recently. Too bad I didn’t know this. When my father died last year I his miles, but it would have been easier to transfer them for free.

  7. I’m 27 and hopefully won’t need one for a while so no. Thanks for the contests!

  8. Yes, it is well worth the cost to know that our children won’t have a mess of paperwork to deal with when we die.

  9. When my dad passed away last year, I was able to “double the gift” by taking advantage of the 100% mileage transfer bonus with Delta. It worked better for us than the free transfer option.

    But it’s good to know that Delta does this for free. Other airlines have a fee.

    Oops – forgot to say YES I have a will!

  10. Nope. I have temporary documents when I travel to remote places but haven’t made a permanent will yet.

  11. I’m strongly considering getting one now. Thanks for the reminder!

  12. Yes, I have a will. At this prompting, updating it has just made it to my 2012 to do list!

  13. Yes but it definitely needs updating and that is one of my New Years resolutions

  14. Yes…. since I was a 16 y.o. military recruit! (now pushing 50)

  15. No, I started drafting one last year but need to finalize it and get the attorney’s okay.

  16. Yes, I have a will, but regularly changing online passwords makes it impractical to include login information!

  17. As a retired attorney, I have one more item to add. You also need a medical power of attorney so someone can express and enforce your wishes to the medical community.

    You need to tell the person you give the PoA to what you want to have happen if you cannot speak for yourself, and some of that has to be in writing. Speak with your own attorney for details.

    If you don’t already have a will, you can usually get a package deal as so many of the particulars will overlap.

  18. No. 🙁
    Now that I’m an adult with a family, I do need to get one. I would hate for my wife and son to lose all the miles/points we’ve accrued should something happen to me.

  19. Yes I have one but its 20 years old. I really need to update it.

  20. Robert Lamb Reply

    Yes, when we were flying International, felt it was important

  21. Not yet, however its been at the top of our to-do list for at least 3 years…maybe orphaning my points will be the motivation I need.

  22. Yes I do, but for the best interest of my kids, not necessarily for the miles and points. LOL.

  23. No, but I was thinking it was time to. I don’t have any children or a spouse, but I do have property and I know that it would be much easier for my family if that was willed to someone.

  24. I’ve asked my gf to scatter my ashes in all the places we traveled to and were happy at – so she’ll need my miles!

  25. I wonder if Delta’s acceptance of a will for a tranfer of balance is enforceable worldwide or if they change it country by country…

  26. 🙂
    Interesting point you are making, never had thought about transferring miles as part of a will. But I guess, miles are some sort of assets as well…so they should/could be.
    On the other hand, I plan to leave none…and use them up traveling.

  27. I have one but I definitely need to change it now that I just went through a divorce. It’s good to know that things will be taken care of the way you want it when you are gone.

  28. No, but perhaps this should be my New Year’s resolution! A great idea putting the miles in your will. I have nearly 300k miles and expect to add another 100k this year. We leave our money to others but who would have thought of leaving our miles? Thanks for the tip!

  29. I would advise against a will. I would recommend a revocable trust. With the will you will have to pay probate fees.

  30. Mordy Siegel Reply

    Wow Rene. That was a “different” yet very insightful article.

  31. Just a reminder to also update beneficiaries in your Human Resource documents at work. It’s difficult when a family loses someone, and even more so when the beneficiaries have not been updated and they are left with nothing.

  32. No. I don’t have a will to pass on my FF miles. I don’t have anyone savvy enough to use them like I do.

  33. Good article…my husband and I have a will but we have not made any arrangement on our points. Thanks! By the way our answer is YES.

  34. thrashsoundly Reply

    No will yet, but with all these points racking up, it looks like I’ll need one soon.

  35. No, but drafting a will is on my list of things to do for 2012. Thanks for reminding me to include the miles!

  36. YES, I have a will, but I need to update it.

    I am so glad I found your blog. Since MSP is my home airport and Delta controls 89% of the gates here, I LOVE that your blog is ALL Delta.

    Thanks for your good work.

  37. not yet!

    i need noise canceling headphones because my boyfriend snores enough to wake the dead. which brings us full circle to the theme of this blog entry, right? happy new year!

  38. Yes we have wills but I just assumed we would be able to obtain each other’s points balance without a whole lot of trouble (through most airlines). Is this not true?

  39. Yup. Got one when I started working 7 years ago so at least *someone* would get the life insurance payout…

  40. Interesting to learn about death and miles, and yes i do have a will.

  41. No will. But at 26 I pretty much don’t have any assets to will. Student loan debt though perhaps. 🙂

  42. NO. I didn’t think about it because I don’t have many assets but I do have about a million miles/points total!

  43. No, I’m still young enough to stupidly think I’m invincible.

  44. Alexis Sheehy Reply

    Yes, I have a will, a family trust, and an advance directive for end of life issues. I don’t have my Award Wallet password in the will, though. That’s a great idea. Thanks!

  45. Yes – but it doesn’t cover my miles and points. I will check w my attorney

  46. I do.

    I love the provocative topic…I love that you are inspiring people to think about their estate planning…I am not so crazy about pushing people to DIY wills. In many cases, properly prepared and executed (there are specific requirements for this), a DIY will may be better than nothing, but it would be much better if people would think about the subject a little more, do some research, and get some advice about their options and best course of action for their estate plans. Lawyers wind up unraveling a lot of messes created by well-intentioned DIY-ers who had the best intentions but wind up frustrated in their goals with feuding heirs after it is too late to cure the problems in their estate plans.

  47. Pingback: UPDATE: Don’t DIE with any Skymiles in your account (or they are GONE)! - Delta Points

  48. Pingback: Just a reminder - When you go, so do your Skymiles! - Delta Points - Delta Points

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