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Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad 465

Posted by samzenpus
from the cooperation-in-3-2-1 dept.
mrspoonsi writes "A man whose mother bequeathed her iPad to her family in her will says Apple's security rules are too restrictive. Since her death, they have been unable to unlock the device, despite providing Apple with copies of her will, death certificate and solicitor's letter. After her death, they discovered they did not know her Apple ID and password, but were asked to provide written consent for the device to be unlocked. Mr Grant said: 'We obviously couldn't get written permission because mum had died. So my brother has been back and forth with Apple, they're asking for some kind of proof that he can have the iPad. We've provided the death certificate, will and solicitor's letter but it wasn't enough. They've now asked for a court order to prove that mum was the owner of the iPad and the iTunes account.'"
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Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

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  • by Mr. Sketch (111112) <mister@sketch.gmail@com> on Thursday March 06, 2014 @01:49AM (#46416287)

    Did she bequeath the iPad or the apps/data on the iPad and the iTunes account to go with it? I'm pretty sure that even if the device is locked, that you can still do a factory reset on it and then have access to the iPad. Granted you would lose all the apps and data on the device, but you would still have the device to use as you wish.

    If she bequeathed the iTunes account, then the account email and password should have been in the will or related documents, if not, then it's reasonable to assume she just left the hardware which you can reset and then have full use of.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06, 2014 @01:50AM (#46416293)

    It's lethal injection or the chair if you hack an iPad.

    Those Apple lobbyists do a great job!

  • by Garnaralf (595872) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @02:27AM (#46416431) Homepage
    I was recently the Fiduciary, or executor, or an estate where an iPad was involved. I sent a letter, as the Fiduciary, along with my appointment papers, requesting the password, in order that a proper value of the iPod could be determined, which included the data on the iPad. Apple refused. I immediately made an appointment with the Judge of the Probate, and explained the situation. She immediately sent a letter to Apple, demanding that they supply or clear the password, or be charged with contempt of court. They sent the password. Thankfully, this is not a large area, population-wise, that this could be handled quickly. I can only imagine how difficult it could be in a large city.
  • by vandelais (164490) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @03:08AM (#46416583)

    AC lawyer--you should know better.

    I RTFA. The kids don't have proof of executorship.
    A will doesn't cut it.

    Certified Death Certificate=proof of death.
    Solicitor's letter=a letter from an attorney that uses fancypants words like herewith and forthwith
    Copy of will=copy of an unexecuted will, of which there may be several copies drafted and amended over the years to perhaps bequeath the rights or property to someone else. This is why people come out of the woodwork with multiple wills or the courts settle the matter when there is a dispute. Waiting periods often apply. Sometimes the equivalent of a cocktail napkin is sufficient evidence to decide these matters, but the matter about always necessitates a document bearing the raised seal of a probate court or affidavit drafted by a lawyer or a Suze Orman CDROM which includes the statutory language.

    What the children don't have is a document proving that the will was entered into probate, or statutory substitute thereof.--often a property-specific court order. It works the same in the U.K. as it does the states (it gets weird with Louisiana, though).

    The children either want to avoid full probate because of the expense or need to get a new attorney familiar with whatever the affidavit of small estate alternative process is for their jurisdiction. They can tell the 'false economy' story to folks who don't understand civil law and get the media and the blogosphere to believe them.

  • Re: Why? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06, 2014 @04:11AM (#46416781)

    Did you miss the part of the summary where the legal executor sent a letter to Apple confirming her as legally dead?

    That is the definition under UK law of proving that somebody has died.

  • Re:Disguisting! (Score:5, Informative)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @12:51PM (#46420135)

    Unfortunately it's an open question as to whether information held in accounts under password are part of an estate or not.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/... [wsj.com]

    If she didn't explicitly mention it in her will, and the Apple's security terms of service don't otherwise allow it, it seems quite reasonable for Apple to defer the decision to a court of law.

    The possibility that she held the information under a password because she wanted it to go to the grave with her needs exploring.

  • Re:They're stalling (Score:5, Informative)

    by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 06, 2014 @01:49PM (#46420747)

    Does it take effort to be that stupid?

    They're asking for a standard court order based on English law that the documents presented are genuine and that the iPad actually belonged to that dead person.

    This is really, really, really standard stuff. The only reason it's turned into a big deal is because it's Apple. After the big kefuffle last year or so when that reporter lost his data because someone social engineered their way into his Apple ID and Apple took (deserved) serious heat for it, they seriously tightened up their security procedures.

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