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Apple Users: The Importance of Designating a Legacy Contact

by | Jun 6, 2024 | Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of preparing and signing documents that designate individuals to manage one’s healthcare or financial decision-making in the event of their incapacitation, and the disposition of their assets upon their death.

Changes in estate planning are typically marked by rule changes in the Florida Probate Code, or changes made by the IRS regulations regarding estate and gift tax exemptions.

However, one change happened 17 years ago this summer and its impact on estate planning was initially non-existent.

On June 29, 2007, Apple Inc. released the iPhone and ever since we have been digitizing our once tangible possessions.

Have you ever thought about what happens to your digital life and personal data after you’re gone?

The biometric technology that has replaced passwords often means that a deceased individual’s iPhone is inaccessible. At times the inability to retrieve photographs and videos from a deceased’s person’s iPhone means the tragic loss of family memories. However, recently with the introduction of digital assets like Bitcoin and the proliferation of online banking, an inaccessible iPhone could mean the loss of substantial assets.

Recently Apple, Inc. has released “Legacy Contacts” to address the issues that arise when a person dies without sharing their pin numbers and passwords with a loved one. Think of it as a digital “transfer-on-death” designation for your iPhone and the assets it may hold.

With Legacy Contacts, you can choose trusted individuals to access your Apple account and personal information after you pass away. It’s an important step to ensure your digital legacy is handled according to your wishes.

What is a Legacy Contact?

Apple’s Legacy Contact feature allows you to select people who can manage your digital information stored in your Apple ID, like photos, messages, notes, and other personal data.

Why it’s important:

  • Control: You decide who can access your personal data.
  • Ease for loved ones: Makes it easier for your family to handle your digital affairs.
  • Security: Ensures your personal data is in trusted hands.

Is this feature available on all iPhones and Apple Devices?

No, this feature is only accessible on Apple devices running in iOS 15.2, iPadOS 15.2, and macOS Monterey 12.1.

How to set up:

  1. Go to Settings on your Apple device.
  2. Tap your name, then Password & Security.
  3. Select Legacy Contact and follow the prompts.

For more info, please visit

Pro Tip: Combine this with a comprehensive estate plan to cover all bases. Talk to a professional to make sure your wishes are legally binding and clear.

If you’re ready to act now, give the dedicated team of experienced attorneys at Block & Scarpa a call at 772-794-1918, or request a consultation through our website at

*The information in this article is not intended to be legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney. The information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

About: Beckett Horner is a managing partner of the firm and leads the Estate Planning and Probate Department where he practices in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration, as well as Real Estate, Tax Law, and Commercial Law. More specifically, Beckett focuses his practice on helping families shelter their estates from estate tax as well as formulating custom estate plans tailored to specific family dynamics.