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iCloud file access for heirs  

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Bunnysniper
(@bunnysniper)
Active Member

Hello,

i was asked by a family to support them getting access to iCloud files from their dead son. He died last week and used a new iPad for his daily work. The surviving dependants have a great interest in all the files and photos he might have synced to iCloud.

They have a relativly new powered-off iPad, a powered-off iPhone 7, his email adress and that`s it. Apple ID and password are unknown. Does anyone know, perhaps from his own experience with Apple, how to get access to these files?

best regards,
Robin

Quote
Posted : 13/03/2018 2:17 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

Admittedly old news (2016)

https://9to5mac.com/2016/01/19/digital-property-after-death-issues-continue-as-apple-requires-court-order-for-widow-to-get-late-husbands-apple-id-password/

Maybe in the meantime they put together a definite policy, see
https://www.gillware.com/blog/articles/accessing-deceased-loved-ones-data/
in any case contact Apple support first.

jaclaz

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13/03/2018 2:25 pm
dandaman_24
(@dandaman_24)
Active Member

Has he got a computer /laptop ? try looking for passwords stored within.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13/03/2018 2:30 pm
Bunnysniper
(@bunnysniper)
Active Member

Thanks for the hints, Jaclaz.
I already talked to the Apple Support. They told me, it is "impossible".

In the mentioned case in the first link, the widow needed a warrant from court to get access to the files…so these files exist, whatever Apple tells me on the phone. Does the family really need a lawyer and a court to get access?

regards, Robin

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13/03/2018 2:43 pm
Bunnysniper
(@bunnysniper)
Active Member

Has he got a computer /laptop ? try looking for passwords stored within.

No Laptop in use or his property, his main device was the mentioned iPad.

regards, Robin

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13/03/2018 2:53 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

Thanks for the hints, Jaclaz.
I already talked to the Apple Support. They told me, it is "impossible".

In the mentioned case in the first link, the widow needed a warrant from court to get access to the files…so these files exist, whatever Apple tells me on the phone. Does the family really need a lawyer and a court to get access?

regards, Robin

That is the issue, reportedly (and ONLY after CBC made a public case of this) Apple seemingly found a way to provide access to the account without the court order

http//bgr.com/2016/01/19/widow-wins-battle-with-apple-over-deceased-husbands-password/

In a "normal" world *any* normally managed company with a minimal (not even decent, minimal is enough) level of care for their customers would have found a way to make this same (unfortunately I believe common enough nowadays) issue easily solvable through a given, simple, public procedure.

Evidently Apple doesn't actually care about their customers (not that so many of the competition does), and so (according to the given article) it seems like a few states are making appropriate Laws.

Of course, in a "normal" world such Laws would be simple and effective, in "this" world, the result is often similar to the AZ Law mentioned here

https://www.jdunderground.com/all/thread.php?threadId=137527

Which
https://www.azleg.gov/ars/14/13108.htm
essentially allows anyway the "custodian" to require a court order.

If I were you (or actually the family of the deceased) I would really make a case of this, contacting the press.

jaclaz

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13/03/2018 3:59 pm
C.R.S.
(@c-r-s)
Active Member

In the mentioned case in the first link, the widow needed a warrant from court to get access to the files…so these files exist, whatever Apple tells me on the phone. Does the family really need a lawyer and a court to get access?

They need a certificate of heirship that is issued by the probate court (Erbschein).

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13/03/2018 8:20 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

They need a certificate of heirship that is issued by the probate court (Erbschein).

Any actual reefrence?

It doesn't seem as easy or straightforward as you put it

https://www.br.de/radio/bayern2/sendungen/notizbuch/digitales-erbe-nachlass-google-100.html

jaclaz

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Posted : 13/03/2018 9:01 pm
C.R.S.
(@c-r-s)
Active Member

They need a certificate of heirship that is issued by the probate court (Erbschein).

Any actual reefrence?

It doesn't seem as easy or straightforward as you put it

https://www.br.de/radio/bayern2/sendungen/notizbuch/digitales-erbe-nachlass-google-100.html

jaclaz

The concerns mentioned in this article do not apply to the return of digital content from Apple's cloud storage. As I understand the question, the bereaved parents neither insist on continued usage of their son's Apple account, nor want to obtain digital products which are subject to a license agreement, nor do they request access to third party communication. In that sense, digital storage service contracts are a matter of plain universal succession, unaffected by user agreements.
This doesn't mean it's easy or straightforward. The certificate is just the minimal requirement for the parents' cause. Without Apple reacting to a formally legitimate request, there is little point in speculating how difficult it could get, if Apple has a different view on the legal situation.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 15/03/2018 5:49 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

This doesn't mean it's easy or straightforward. The certificate is just the minimal requirement for the parents' cause. Without Apple reacting to a formally legitimate request, there is little point in speculating how difficult it could get, if Apple has a different view on the legal situation.

Yep, that is was I suspect ( , that it won't be that easy.

I gave it for granted that to make a request as heir you need to proof your status of heir, i.e. that all was needed for a "formally legitimate request" has been already gathered/procured, as the same certificate will be - I believe - needed to have access to all other assets of the deceased (like bank account, property of the house if any, etc.) and to pay taxes, etc..

Fun fact - if I am allowed given the nature of the topic - in my experience it has been particularly troublesome (not a problem but a nuisance) to get rid of automatic renewal subscriptions (not only online/site ones, but also newspapers, associations, and similar), in some cases they wanted the same or more documents than the land registry.

jaclaz

ReplyQuote
Posted : 15/03/2018 6:11 pm
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