Tag: anthony bourdain

25 Oct

‘Passing’ on your Points

Noah Weisberg Beneficiary Designations, Estate Planning Tags: , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

As an avid Seinfeld fan, I recently watched the episode where Elaine Benes kept on eating submarine sandwiches just so she could collect enough points to earn a free sub.  Spoiler alert: Elaine lost the loyalty card before redeeming the free sub.  Unfortunately, many estates fail to take advantage of these rewards and end up just like Elaine.

It is estimated that in the US alone, three trillion frequent flyer miles are given annually.  Notwithstanding this dizzying number of points, in Ontario there is no law addressing if, and how, points can be transferred upon death.  Airlines are left to create their own procedure and standards.

There is a helpful resource, here, which sets out the policies of the major US frequent flyer programs in plain english.  The CBC offers similar information for Canadian frequent flyer programs here.  While some airlines permit the transfer of points, many discount their value.  Some even refuse to allow there to be a transfer altogether.

As discussed in my previous blog, Anthony Bourdain included his frequent flyer miles in his will.  Given the suspected value of these points, this estate planning decision makes sense.

In considering an estate plan, a testator should, first, decide whether to choose airlines based on the ability to transfer points.  Second, if a testator has amassed significant points, and they are transferrable, make sure to include them in a will.

Noah Weisberg

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14 Aug

Anthony Bourdain’s Estate

Noah Weisberg Estate Planning, In the News Tags: , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

For all that is known about chef Anthony Bourdain’s colourful lifestyle, the estate plan he left behind is surprisingly comprehensive.

It has been reported that Bourdain left behind both a Last Will and Testament and a separate Trust.

Bourdain’s Will leaves the residue of his estate to his minor daughter, Ariane.  The residue has been valued at approximately $1.2 million, and consists of savings, cash, brokerage accounts, personal property, and intangible property including royalties and residuals.  In the event that Bourdain survived his daughter, the residue was to pass to his daughter’s nanny.

Bourdain appointed his estranged wife as estate trustee.  This makes sense given that Ariane is the daughter of the marriage and that the mother will likely have her daughter’s best interests in mind while the estate is administered.  Bourdain was also mindful to include in his Will other assets – personal and household effects, including frequent flyer miles.  Given the amount of travelling Bourdain did, it was shrewd of him to specifically include this in his Will.

A separate trust was also settled, apparently containing most of his wealth.  Again, his estranged wife is named as trustee, with Ariane as beneficiary receiving money from the trust when she turns 25, 30, and 35.  Presumably, Bourdain settled a trust to avoid the payment of taxes and the publicity associated with probate – another sign of a well thought out estate plan.

While so many celebrities succumb to poor estate planning, it is refreshing that in addition to teaching us about cooking, travelling, eating, and so much more, Bourdain also taught us about the importance of a thorough estate plan.

 

Noah Weisberg

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