Question: My father was a business traveler.  He recently passed away, owning tons of frequent flyer miles.  Can his miles be passed in his Will?

Answer: Most airlines reserve the right to refuse the inheritance of frequent flyer miles.  Though, airlines some allow their transfer when an account holder dies.

If amenable to the transfer, the airline may ask you to complete an affidavit stating your relationship to the deceased.  This paperwork may require notarization.  Along with the affidavit, the airline may request proof of death.  Turnaround time is relatively short, with most transfers being handled in a week or two.

Don’t be surprised if the airline charges a service fee up to $50.00.  Nowadays, airlines are charging fees for each bag checked.

In cases involving lower values of miles, the airlines will transfer them outside of probate.  High value miles accounts may require your appointment as administrator or executor of your father’s will.  Remember that estates under $25,000.00 can be probated quickly similar to a small claims case.

Billerica Attorney, James Haroutunian, specializes in Real Estate Law, Probate and Estate Planning.  Contact him with questions at 790 Boston Road, Billerica, by phone at 978-671-0711 or by email at You can find his blog at both and

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