Spiro J. Verras Blog

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Lessons From Anthony Bourdain’s Estate Plan

How can I gift my reward points or frequent flyer miles to my family after my death?

Fans across the world mourned the loss of chef and television star Anthony Bourdain this past June. Now, details as to Bourdain’s estate plan have emerged. Given his celebrity status, much national attention has centered on Bourdain’s assets and what steps he took to ensure the assets go to whom he desired. Our Tampa estate planning lawyers examine the basics of Bourdain’s estate plan and what we all can learn from it.

Anthony Bourdain’s Estate Plan

Bourdain is reported to have left behind some $1.21 million in assets, and possibly far more held in a separate trust. Bourdain left behind a will that designates his eleven-year-old daughter as the primary beneficiary. His estranged wife, Ottavia, is reportedly listed as the executor to the estate. Ottavia is said to have also received some of Bourdain’s personal and household effects, specially including his valuable frequent flyer miles.

Take Away Lessons From Bourdain’s Estate Plan

Bourdain took many important steps to ensure his only child would be cared for after his death. According to a recent report from, 60 percent of Americans do not have any sort of estate plan. Bourdain defied these odds by making an estate plan, which was critical to ensuring his daughter would be financially secure when he passed away.

Bourdain also included within his estate plan an often overlooked asset—his frequent flyer miles. As a man who spent his life traveling the world, Bourdain’s frequent flyer miles were undoubtedly worth a fortune. Many of us acquire frequent flyer miles and other reward type points during our lifetime. It is important to include these items within your will as passable assets, but know that complications could arise. Frequent flyer miles and other rewards are not always assignable, as they represent a contract between you and the company.

All of us should take away from Anthony Bourdain’s estate plan the importance of taking steps to protect your loved one. Without an estate plan in place, your hard earned assets may be tied up in court, subjected to immense taxation, and potentially pass to heirs whom you would not have selected. Take the time today to consult with an estate planning attorney to get started creating your legacy.

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