Sometimes, unexpected things can happen, and people die suddenly. But what if the person had an important document sitting in their email? You could contact the sender and hope for the best…or hopefully the person signed up for Apple’s new Legacy Contact.

Users can designate an unlimited number of Legacy Contacts by following these four steps on iPhone:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap profile picture
  3. Tap Password & Security
  4. Tap Legacy Contact

It’s important to choose people you trust for your Legacy Contacts because they can unilaterally lock out other people or memorialize the account.

Once your Legacy Contacts are vetted, you can ask Apple to generate a code known as the Access Key. It can be texted, emailed, or printed. Apple recommends putting the code alongside your estate documents, and I agree. That’s where all your important account information should be! 

When that day comes, your Legacy Contacts can gain full access to your apps by showing a death certificate to Apple. Then it’s simply a matter of logging in with the Access Key.

While you’re putting away your new Apple estate document, take a minute to think of all your other digital properties. Be sure to include the passwords for any vanity or hobby-based websites you own. Facebook and LinkedIn have their own memorial processes, but other top-tier apps like Spotify do not — which brings me to LastPass.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that 1) I love LastPass and 2) I am not being paid by LastPass. It helps you organize all of your different passwords — including Apple Access Keys — under one master password, which you can then print out and store next to your will.

This is a great opportunity to convey a lot of necessary information that bereaved people would need after the passing of a loved one. I hope when I’m “in a better place,” my kids will be able to recover some long lost memories in the iCloud or on my locked  phone.

To get your digital estate together, contact us