In this digital age, our lives are intricately woven with technology. Much of our personal and professional lives are now encapsulated within the digital realm, from cherished memories captured in photos to essential documents stored in the cloud.

However, have you ever considered what happens to your digital footprint after you’re gone?

At Magenta, we’ve had recent experience of this happening and the difficulty in accessing loved one’s photos and documents from their iCloud.

Historically we have written about the importance of keeping passwords and smart device access details somewhere safe, up-to-date and accessible by your chosen executor or loved one. Still, now it seems we must all take extra care and precautions to ensure that access to iCloud/Google Drive etc can continue after you are gone.

It’s important to recognise that once any direct debits or payments for the telephone or tablet/cloud storage contract end, so too will access if you are relying on logging in using a password to someone else’s account after they have died.

We’ve recently become aware of the concept of a ‘digital legacy’ and this blog focuses on the options available for both Apple users and Android users.

Nominate a Digital Legacy – Apple devices

Nominating an Apple Legacy Contact can help, offering numerous benefits and peace of mind.

Firstly, let’s understand what an Apple Legacy Contact is.

In essence, it’s a feature provided by Apple that allows users to designate a trusted individual who can access their Apple account and data in the event of their passing. This appointed Legacy Contact gains limited access for a period after your death, enabling them to download data such as photos, emails, and documents while ensuring sensitive information remains protected.

One of the most significant benefits of nominating an Apple Legacy Contact is the preservation of cherished memories. In today’s digital age, many of our most precious moments are captured through our iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks.

Nominating a Legacy Contact can alleviate the burden placed on your family members during an already challenging time. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is emotionally taxing, and navigating their digital presence can add a layer of complexity. By proactively designating a Legacy Contact, you ensure your loved ones have the necessary access to handle your digital affairs without stress and uncertainty.

The nomination of an Apple Legacy Contact is also the most secure way of doing this, meaning that you don’t need to share your password. This helps mitigate the risk of unauthorised access to your accounts and data.

How to do it:

Google / Android devices

Similar to Apple’s Legacy Contact feature, Android devices also offer options for managing digital assets after someone passes away.

This is called Google’s Inactive Account Manager, which allows users to specify what they want to happen to their Google account data if it becomes inactive for a certain period, indicating potential passing away.

Google’s Inactive Account Manager lets users choose trusted contacts who can receive data from various Google services, including Gmail, Drive, Photos, and more, after a specified period of inactivity. Users can customise the duration of inactivity that triggers the account’s data sharing, as well as what data they want to be shared with their designated contacts.

How to do it (we advise to activate this via a computer, we were unable to work out how to do on via a phone/tablet):

In addition to Google’s Inactive Account Manager, we have been told that there are third-party services and apps available for Android devices that offer similar functionalities for managing digital assets after someone passes away, please note that we currently do not have experience of these. These services often provide customisable options for specifying what data should be shared, who should have access, and when access should be granted.

Whether you use an iPhone or an Android device, taking proactive steps to manage your digital assets can provide peace of mind and make things easier for your loved ones during difficult times.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Gretchen or Mandy in regard to the options and we can assist.