This article addresses how Accessing an Apple Account After Death is done through probate court. Part of the reason why people hire a good estate planning attorney to create a will or a trust is to avoid the problems that come with probate. Probate is a lengthy, expensive, but organized process to account for the property of the person who has died without a will.
As much of life goes digital and online, sometimes the procedures for transferring digital access may not be as clear as it is for transferring a house, or a car, after death.
A Specific Example on Accessing an Apple Account After Death.
A colleague of our estate planning law firm had a client, whose spouse died in April of this year. All assets were held jointly, so there were no problems with transferring assets there. Joint property is considered held by both parties, and is immediately transferred if one party dies. The issue became that Apple would not allow the wife access to her husband’s account. When she contacted Apple they responded as follows:
“Per our conversation, the following will be needed to move forward with your request:
A court order which must specify that:
(1) The decedent was the user of all accounts associated with the Apple ID.
(2) The requestor is the legal personal representative of the decedent.
(3) As 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.
(4) 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, from their accounts.”
A question arose as to what would be the most 1) cost effective, 2) quickest, and 3) easiest way to accomplish this?
Apple Policies For Accessing an Apple Account After Death.
Apple has policies for this exact scenario. Those are incorporated in the requirements above. As a company, Apple Inc. thinks (perhaps correctly) that they are protecting the privacy of persons in addition to the decedent.
Accessing an Apple Account After Death Court Concerns
Accessing an Apple Account After Death Strategy Concerns
Also, a new law, enacted this year (2016), SB 691, the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, was passed. This will appear at Probate Code 870 et seq. and I assume is effective January 1st, 2017.
If you have questions about this process, or anything related to Orange County Probate procedures, contact our law firm anytime. We can help you.