A British woman died and left her iPad to her children. She used it for e-mail and games after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Her children have been unable to access all of the content on it because they do not have her Apple ID and password. Apple has requested a court order proving that she was the owner of the iPad and the account. The legal fees for obtaining the court order would exceed the value of the iPad.
1. I advise all of my clients to write down their on-line passwords and store them safely so that heirs can access their digital assets if necessary.
2. When one is terminally ill, tasks such as making a will, discussing funeral arrangements, sharing passwords, etc., that can be done today should be done today. There is no reason to delay because there might not be a tomorrow.
3. The iPad will work without the Apple ID so what is likely happening is that the family does not know the iPad's 4 digit lock code. With 10,000 combinations and a five minute lock after 3 incorrect guesses, the family should be able to crack the code in 11.5 days with methodical guessing. Their time might be better spent working to buy a new iPad and forgo listening to mom's music and playing her Angry Birds.