How to request access to a deceased family member's Apple accounts

This article explains how to request access to a customer's accounts and devices after they have passed away.  

Every day, people all over the world save important documents, memories and more on their Apple devices and in iCloud. At Apple, we consider privacy to be a fundamental human right, and customers expect us to help keep their information private and secure at all times. In the unfortunate event of a customer’s death, Apple will not be in a position to know if they would want their information to be shared with anyone or with whom they might want to share it. 

Before Apple can provide assistance in accessing a deceased person’s device or the personal information they stored in iCloud, we ask that the person’s next of kin obtain a court order that names them as the rightful inheritor of their loved one’s personal information. 

We ask that the court order specify:

  • The name and Apple ID of the deceased person.
  • The name of the next of kin who is requesting access to the decedent’s account.
  • That the decedent was the user of all accounts associated with the Apple ID.
  • That the requestor is the decedent’s legal personal representative, agent, or heir, whose authorization constitutes "lawful consent.”
  • That Apple is ordered by the court to assist in the provision of access to the decedent’s information from the deceased person's accounts.

If you have a court order with this information, or if you need additional help, please contact Apple Support

We have great sympathy for surviving family members. Once the court order is received, we will help as much as possible to grant access to the personal information or devices you are requesting. Please note that devices locked with a passcode are protected by passcode encryption, and unless the next of kin knows the device passcode, Apple will not be able to remove the passcode lock on the device without erasing it. 

About estate planning

We encourage customers to add an inheritance plan to their will that covers the personal information they store on their devices and in iCloud. This may simplify the process of acquiring a proper court order and reduce delay and frustration for family members during a difficult time.

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