Have you ever wondered what happens to your valued family pictures after the death of you or a loved one? What happens if the survivors do not have access to the password for the deceased and wants to preserve the important family memories?

This happened recently to a wife who wanted her deceased husband’s pictures but did not have the proper log in information for his account. The probate attorney tried submitted a copy of the death certificate to obtain the information, but this was insufficient for Apple. Apple responded, requiring the following information:

* The decedent’s Apple ID

* A copy of the decedent’s death certificate

* A court order that specifies all of the following:

* The decedent was the owner of all accounts associated with the Apple ID.

* The requestor is the administrator or the legal personal representative of the decedent’s estate.

* As administrator or legal personal representative, the requestor is the “agent” of the decedent, and their authorization constitutes “lawful consent” as those terms are used in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

* Apple is ordered by the court to assist in the recovery of decedent’s personal data from their accounts, which may contain third party personally identifiable information or data.

Did you catch that? Apple is requiring a court order to release the decedent’s information to his own wife! This adds unnecessary legal expense, time delay and inconvenience for those dealing with the loss of a loved one, and it is totally preventable! It is important to maintain a log of all important passwords for your survivors to access upon your passing. There are several ways to do this.. the simplest being manually recording them in a binder and telling your spouse, significant other or children where to find it. There are many online options for you as well… specific software to help with this. And at Paul Winkler our clients have access to EMoney, top level security protected software with a vault to store all of your most important documents.

Be sure to preserve your important passwords and let your family know where the information is, so you can prevent this from happening to your family.