Losing a loved one is not easy, and it deals a blow to the entire family and, in addition to working around and with the grief of such a loss, there’s other things you need to take care of, such as organizing the funeral and also dealing with all the paperwork and administrative bits and bobs that make up a person’s life.
There’s also the issue of technology: a lot of us have social media accounts on different platforms, where we store images, videos and all sorts of small things that make up memories, things that become very precious to those close to us if we disappear from their life.
Logging into these accounts after someone’s death is difficult and while it might seem like a breach of privacy – what about all the memories lost or overseas and online friends who might not have another way of finding out someone they knew and cared about is gone?
However, it seems that Apple has given that some thought and, once the iOS 15.2 update arrives, iPhone users will be able to set up a Legacy Contact who will have access to their data once they’re gone. This feature has been mentioned at WWDC 2021, but it didn’t come along with the iOS 15 update for some reason.
If you are running iOS 15.2 Beta 2, released on November 5th, you also have access to this feature and in the future, you will also be able to assign a Legacy Contact to the iPad, once the iPadOS 15.2 drops.
To set up a previous contact, open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Tap your profile at the top of the screen and you will see an option called Password and security. This is where you will find Legacy Contact, where you can choose the person who can access your data. Remember, this is someone who has access to a wide variety of personal information, so make sure you choose well. If you’re unsure, you also have the option to add more than one person.
The person you choose will then be asked to provide a passkey and a copy of a death certificate before they can access your account. This is a process that might take a while, true, but it will most likely be way easier and still less time-consuming than trying to get through to Facebook in order to gain access to a deceased person’s account.
Legacy Contact is a way to simplify the grieving process, and while providing a copy of a death certificate may not be easy, it will be less stressful than trying to guess passwords.
In the same vein, Facebook has a similar feature. It was launched back in 2015 and, if the Legacy Contact is something you are interested in, it’s worth looking into enabling it on the social media platform as well.