How To Add a Legacy Contact to your Apple ID & Share Data Access after your Death

Did you ever wonder what would happen to your Apple Account after you died? We are sure many of you would be wondering because all the data would get locked and your phone might have some very important memories, documents that might be linked to your financials, and conversations that would be in need for the future. There have been many instances when people have died all of a sudden and all their data had gone missing because of the security Apple offers and eventually their family would have faced many issues.

Apple has given out a solution for this problem and this is called “Legacy Contact” who is someone you would nominate to access all your data after you die and this includes different kinds of data like the videos, photos, messages, notes, files, contacts, calendar data, downloaded apps, and the data along with the backups of all your devices stores in iCloud.

Apple ID Settings PageThis is a new feature introduced in iOS 15.2, iPadOS 15.2, and macOS 12.1 depending on the device you use, though all of these devices are linked with your Apple Account, hence it becomes important to complete the setup of this feature to generate the access key and keep your account ready for taking over by your family members. First of all, if you are wondering the type of data that your Legacy Contact can access, then here’s the complete list of the same.

  • iCloud Photos
  • Notes
  • Mail
  • Contacts
  • Calendars
  • Reminders
  • Messages in iCloud
  • Call history
  • Files stored in iCloud Drive
  • Health Data
  • Voice Memos
  • Safari Bookmarks and Reading List
  • iCloud Backup

Let’s look into the complete process and to start the same, you need to make sure that the Two-factor authentication is turned ON for your Apple ID. Following this you need to go to the Settings & Tap on your Name, followed by tapping on “Password & Security“, then tapping on “Legacy Contact“.

Apple Settings Password & Security

Apple ID Add Legacy ContactThe next step would be tapping on the “Add Legacy Contact” option where you would get information about the same. Do make a note that Apple suggests you Add someone you trust to have access to the data and the legacy contact will need to provide an access key which is kind of the most secure key to get a copy of the data along with the death certificate that needs to be provided. Tap on “Add Legacy Contact” Button to proceed.

Apple informs that – As your Legacy contact, the person will be able to access the data stored in your account after your death. Again, this is why you should only give this access to someone you completely trust. Just proceed and tap on “Choose How to Share Your Access Key” where you need to “Print a Copy” of the document. Now, this is a physical copy and not something you can just save on your phone, so you need to keep your printer ready while getting the Access Key and sharing it with the person you trust.

Print a Copy of Access Key

If the Legacy Contact isn’t using an Apple device or having an Apple device but running on older software you can still notify them through the Messages App or just print a copy and share it with them. Do make a note that you can always get a PDF copy of the access key but it is not suggested to share it because a physically documented copy is generally considered safe and you can keep it with your other important documents.

You can always change or remove the Legacy Contact by going through the same steps and removing them from the list, while the earlier generated key would stop working in case they try to access the same. You can always perform similar steps for giving access to your other important services with people you trust and make sure that they have access when in need.

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