How to manage an Apple ID after death
Almost anyone that uses an Apple device such as an iPhone or Mac has an Apple ID. Given the importance of digital devices in our daily lives, these accounts often contain important information about ourselves. If something happens to you, what happens to this data? In this article, we’ll answer these questions about managing your Apple ID after death and discuss Apple’s upcoming Digital Legacy feature that comes out in the fall with iOS 15.
Deleting or Deactivating your Apple ID
Before the Legacy Contacts feature rolls out, if your family does not know the login information to your Apple ID, there will be no way to access the data within your account. You can, however, delete the account by contacting Apple’s Support Team and providing the following:
- Apple ID
- Death certificate
If you do have access to the Apple ID account and its associated email, you can do it manually through the privacy.apple.com portal.
The first step is to just sign in with the Apple ID. This might require two-factor authentication depending on if it is activated, so make sure that others have access to your device for this step. After you are logged in, you will see a screen with the following two options. Depending on whether you hope to recover the account later or just delete the account outright, inform your intentions to the person carrying out your digital estate plans in advance. All they will have to do is choose which request they hope to make (to deactivate the account or delete it) and follow the instructions provided to complete the request. For more detailed instructions, follow this guide provided by MacRumors.com.
Do note that by agreeing to Apple’s iCloud Terms of Service, your account has No Right of Survivorship (meaning that your account is non-transferable after you pass). As such, even though your account can be accessed given that others know your login information and can use the two-factor authentication, all rights associated to your Apple ID and the content contained within it are technically terminated.
Digital Legacy is an upcoming feature with the release of iOS 15 the fall of this year (2021). It will allow you to choose a legacy contact so that they have access to your data including:
Digital Legacy will greatly simplify the process of passing on your important information and best memories. For more information, read our article on Apple’s Digital Legacy feature and watch out for more news this autumn.
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