Accessing deceased loved ones’ online data becomes a little easier

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Access denied

When a loved one dies, how can you gain access to their digital legacy – their data and photos, documents and important records? On top of everything else that has to be dealt with after a death, Apple users have found their access denied until a grant of probate and a court order is produced – Apple’s requirements before opening the doors.

A step in the right direction 

Finally, after years of campaigning by users, Apple have announced a new programme called Digital Legacy that will allow a nominated person to the deceased’s Apple account. You will still need to produce a death certificate and request an access key, and you will not gain full sight of the plethora of information that Apple may hold on an individual user, but is a step in the right direction.

As with so many aspects of living in a digital age, legislation has not kept pace with our increased use of technology. But as more high-profile cases are reported and campaigning keeps up the pressure it appears we may now be moving towards more clarity and regulation.

What you can do

This demonstrates the importance of thinking about what should happen to your digital assets in the event of your death. How can you best allow access and to whom? How do you navigate the restrictions which some organisations (such as Apple) place on access to deceased accounts? Digital access planning has become a key part of estate planning and regarded with the same level of conscientiousness.

Talk to us

Digital access can be a grey area for many people and very much an unknown quantity. Please call Emma Weir or any member of our Private Client Team on 01273 324041

to discuss, without obligation, if you have any questions.