If a frequent flyer dies without bequeathing their air miles, their estate could miss out on thousands of pounds in value, according to recent reports in The Telegraph. But air miles are not the only asset that you may have forgotten to include in your will.
There are a number of unusual assets that are often overlooked when writing your last testament. By making your will as comprehensive as possible, you can ensure your heirs benefit from everything you’ve earned over your lifetime.
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1. Air miles
As travelling becomes cheaper and more common, many people are building up pools of points in their air mile accounts.
Unfortunately, certain airlines, like British Airways won’t let you pass on your air miles to a beneficiary. Others, like Virgin Atlantic, will let you leave them to someone, so long as you specifically state that this is what you want to happen in your will.
Hotel loyalty points are similar – whether you can transfer them depends on the chain, so it’s worth adding a line to your will stating who you would like to donate them to, if allowed.
2. Loyalty points
Many Brits love loyalty programs – Nectar, one of the largest services, claims to have over 19 million customers. Over the years of shopping and swiping, you might find you’ve accrued a sizable pool.
Whether you can pass on these points is generally subject to each scheme’s individual terms and conditions.
Nectar states that points can be transferred to another account, so long as ‘adequate evidence of the legal division of Points is given’. The rules for Tesco Clubcard are similar, stating ‘Members may inherit the points or vouchers of a family member who has died by providing a written request informing us of the membership details of the deceased’.
While there doesn’t appear to be a reference to it in the Advantage Card terms and conditions, Boots states that it will allow for the transfer of points to another cardholder should the owner die, so long as the will states that this is what should happen.
The best way to make sure your relatives are covered is to list all of your accounts in your will and clearly state who you would want the balances transferred to.
Find out more: What to put in your will
3. Online finances
With e-commerce growing in popularity, it’s increasingly common for people to hold money on online platforms, like PayPal, eBay or Bitcoin. Take some time to summarise your online finances and cover any money that may be stored in digital accounts.
So long as your relative can provide sufficient documentation about the executor and your account, Paypal will let someone close the account on your behalf. Make sure you write down all the important details they may need to know in order to do this.
If your account has a balance, PayPal will also require a letter stating what to do with those funds from the executor or the person wanting to close the account. To save any confusion or extra distress, it’s worth providing the details for any other online bank accounts, online money transfer and online shopping accounts, in your will.
4. Social accounts
While social media accounts usually have little monetary value, you may want your heirs to have access to your online photos, chat logs or profiles to be able to close them down. If this is the case, you should list the details of your social accounts in your will, including your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn profiles.
Facebook allows you to decide what happens to your account when you die – unless otherwise instructed, the site will automatically turn your profile into a memorial page. Memorial pages can’t be changed, so if you want someone to look after your page when you die, you should add a legacy contact to your account.
In most instances, it’s best to provide your login details for each social network and email accounts in your will should you want a relative to take action on your behalf.
Similarly, consider what might happen to online domain names or websites that you own, and whether you’d like to appoint someone to take these over – popular domain names can have huge monetary value, and you may be surprised by their worth.
Find out more: How to make a will
5. Sentimental keepsakes
Sentimental items can refer to anything from cloud-based photo storage, to photo albums and family heirlooms. Try to be as specific as possible regarding who you would like to be entrusted with these.
You should also think about what you want to happen to any collections, from books and DVDs, to CDs and records – particularly if they include rare or collectible items.
If most of your music exists in download form on iTunes, you can leave the details of your Apple account to your family to ensure they are able to access your music library in the future.