What Will Happen To Your Reward Points And Miles After Your Death?

This is a guest post, written by Andy Masaki: Andy is a blogger and financial writer associated with the Oak View Law Group. He is a debt expert and a member of several online forums where he shares his advice as well as tips to lead a financially independent life. In this article he shares some research on whether you can pass on reward points to beneficiaries in a Will.

Most people opt for a rewards credit card or a loyalty card to earn from spending. You can either get cashback offers or accumulate reward points on your every purchase. After you accumulate a substantial amount of reward points, you can redeem it later on while making another purchase.

If you are a frequent traveler, you can sign up for an airline’s frequent flyer program as well! You can find many airline networks like Star Alliance, Oneworld, etc., consisting of domestic and international carriers. If you sign up with their frequent flyer program, you can earn miles while traveling with their partner carriers too.

Reward points in your Will
Credit: 123rf

No doubt, signing up for a rewards card or a loyalty program is a good way to save money. Let’s say, you are accumulating hundreds of thousands of reward points or miles to redeem afterward. But have you ever thought what will happen to your reward points or miles after your demise? Can you pass on your reward points to your heirs when you write your Will?

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Estate Planning in troubled times

Today’s blog post isn’t quite like anything we’ve done before. We felt, all things considered, that it was important to connect with you all on a more human level. Even though we’re still working away behind the scenes, it certainly isn’t ‘business as usual’ for us — or for anyone for that matter.

It’s hard to ignore that things aren’t really all that ‘normal’. A lot of us are feeling uneasy, scared even, about what the future could possibly have in store. Those are natural feelings to have about the situation, considering there’s no official end date in sight to this crisis state we’re in. 

There is one particular group who, despite their fear and worries, are being asked to step up. We’re talking about front line healthcare workers; the unsung heroes who are risking their lives to keep us out of harm’s way. The doctors, nurses, caregivers, and medical staff are working around the clock in our hospitals; putting the care of others ahead of their own physical and emotional well-being.

Our CTO, Henry Raud, has a daughter who is a Registered Nurse, working on the front lines to diagnose and care for COVID-19 patients. “Every day, I am concerned about my daughter contracting this virus, especially given that thousands of healthcare workers around the world have already been infected, and far too many of whom have died. As a father, I can’t help but feel concerned for my daughter’s safety. But more than anything, I am extremely proud of her for what she is doing to help people to get through this crisis. She absolutely loves what she is doing, despite all the risks. I can’t imagine any father being more proud than I am right now. And I am thankful for all of the other healthcare workers out there, risking their lives in the same way to help everyone that they can.”

Healthcare workers, just like Henry’s daughter, are keeping our families, friends, and communities safe. Even with a dangerously low supply of PPE and medical resources across the board, they continue to show up to do their part to help us all through this. They are protecting those nearest and dearest to us — and we wanted to do our part to help protect what’s nearest and dearest to them; their families, their friends, their assets. It really is the least we could do.

That is why we have decided to join our peers in the online estate planning community in offering free Wills and Power of Attorneys to our healthcare heroes. These healthcare heroes are being directed to get their affairs in order, while they continue to combat this disease. Helping facilitate the process for them is the best way that we can give back.

Our mandate has always been to make estate planning affordable and convenient, and it is our core belief that every adult should have a Will, Power of Attorney, and Living Will in place. We have worked for 20 years to remove the barriers to doing this. Especially now, the importance of being able to prepare these documents from the comfort of your home comes into sharp focus.

To start working on your Will, please send an email to [email protected] from your healthcare work email account with your Name and Employee ID. There you will receive instructions on opening your account and preparing your Will.

Thank you! We truly appreciate everything that you do to keep us well!

Tim Hewson, CEO, LegalWills

Updating your Will. When? How? and How much?

We recently commissioned a survey to determine how many Americans didn’t have a Will. But we added a question that most surveys don’t ask; “Do you have a Will, but you consider it to be out-of-date?”. People often feel that it’s difficult to get their Will written. But updating a Will can be just as onerous and expensive.

For Americans over the age of 65, over 15% had a Will in place, that they regarded as out-of-date.

Traditionally, writing a Will has been an expensive and inconvenient process. You would need to make an appointment with a lawyer. If you lived with a spouse or partner, you would need to co-ordinate this appointment with their schedule. You may even need to arrange childcare. Writing a Will with a lawyer is rarely done in one visit. You may need to discuss certain decisions with loved ones. You would certainly have to return to sign the documents after they have been prepared.

Updating a Will

As a result, people have traditionally thought of Will writing as a once-in-a-lifetime activity. They would wait until that perfect time in their life to write their Will. A point in their life when nothing would likely change.

The problem is, that time never came, and as a result 65% of American adults don’t have an up-to-date Will in place.

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Write your own Will – 10 reasons why it just makes sense.

You don’t need a lawyer to write a Will.

A lawyer, or estate planning attorney is trained in the law. If you have doubts about a particular situation, and you need a legal opinion on this situation, then you should speak to a lawyer.

Most people when they write a Will do not need to consult with a legal professional.

For example, if you wanted to write a Will that leaves everything to your spouse. But if you were both involved in a common accident, your estate would be divided between your children. This is a very standard Last Will and Testament. There is no legal nuance with this Will, and you would not need legal advice to prepare it.

Even if you had to set up a trust for a minor child, and name a guardian for your children, it is still a simple Last Will and Testament. There would be no need to pay $500 or more for this type of Will.

Write your own Will
credit: 123rf
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Last Will and Testament – What it is, When you need it, How to write it.

What is a Last Will and Testament?

A Last Will and Testament is a document that is written while you are mentally capable, that expresses your wishes for after you have died. It deals with the distribution of your possessions (your “estate”) and makes key appointments like your Executor (the person who will carry out the instructions) and Guardians for children (if applicable).

Last Will and Testament
credit: 123rf

A Last Will and Testament, or simply, a “Will”, has to be written. It can be handwritten or typed, and must be signed and dated at the end. If it is typed, the signing must be witnessed by two competent adults who have nothing to gain from the contents of the Will.

Some jurisdictions accept an entirely handwritten document as a Will even if it is not witnessed. This is a “holographic” Will. The law allows this in order to allow people in desperate situations to still prepare their Will even if they cannot find witnesses. It is generally not recommended as a Will writing approach for people under normal circumstances.

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