Your IT Consultant

Information Technology Blog
by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Apple Finally Allows You to Pass Along Your Digital Data After Death

November 11, 2021

It seems like such a simple thing. You have a will that defines how you want your assets distributed following your death, unless your digital assets are held by Apple. Google and Facebook have a process where you can designate who can access your data after you are gone. According to a Verge post, Apple is finally catching up.

With the release of iOS 15.2, Digital Legacy will allow you to designate up to five people to act as Legacy Contacts. A Legacy Contact will be able to access your iCloud data, such as photos, purchases and documents following your death. According to the announcement, as a Legacy Contact, you will need to provide a copy of the death certificate and an access key. Once your device is running iOS 15.2, you complete these steps to set up a Legacy Contact.

  • On an iOS device, go to Settings > [your name] > Password & Security.
  • On a Mac, go to System Preferences > Apple ID > Password & Security.
  • Under Legacy Contact, follow the instructions to add a Legacy Contact. If you use Family Sharing, you can choose a family member from the list; alternatively, add someone using their email or phone number.
  • Notify your Legacy Contact and share an access key via Messages. If they accept, a copy of the access key is automatically stored in their Apple ID settings. If they decline, you will receive a notification. The access key is required to get into your account if you pass away.
  • While you can add a Legacy Contact who isn’t on iOS 15.2, they won’t be able to store the access key in the settings on their device, so you should provide it to them in another way.

Email:   Phone: 703.359.0700
Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology