Apple is a tough nut to crack!

This became pretty obvious during a recent case where Apple’s CEO has refused to comply with a Court order.  The Order stated that Apple must install a ‘back door’ into its iOS software to allow FBI agents to decrypt information on the phone owned by Syed Farook.  Syed and his wife killed 14 people at a Californian medical facility in December 2015. 

Other people have also weighed in on the debate. Donald Trump is calling for a boycott of Apple products and Edward Snowden tweeted that it will result in a world where Americans can’t sell secure products, but their competitors could.

Importantly, Carol Adams, the mum of Robert Adams who was killed by Farook, said she supported Apple’s plight in this.

An unlikely ‘saviour’ in this dispute is the eccentric John McAfee who claims that he will crack the iPhone at the centre of the conflict, strangely enough because he supports Apple’s position.

How is the Apple dispute relevant to you if you die?

Why is the Apple dispute important for you and your estate planning?  Why should you care if the CEO of Apple complies with the Court Order or not?

Think about it. If Apple refuses to decrypt information in a case where national security is the motive behind the request, do you really think that they would give access to you so that you could get the data off the phone of your deceased loved one.

In Apple’s words:

“Unless otherwise required by law, you agree that your Account is non-transferable and that any rights to your Apple ID or Content within your Account, terminate upon your death. Upon receipt of a copy of a death certificate your Account may be terminated and all Content within your Account deleted.”

What do you think will happen to your Apple account when you die? Your Apps and content cannot be transferred to a beneficiary. The only way that your loved ones can access the content and Apps on your Apple products will be if they have your password and login details.  Do you care?  Maybe not but think about this scenario and then you can decide if you still don’t care.

Are you like me and regularly take photos of your loved ones during those ‘snap shot’ moments or ‘one in a life time situations’ and then you never bother to print the photos?  If I die tomorrow and my Apple account is deleted, all the photos on my phone will be gone….forever…! The photos of my daughter taken from the date she born until before I died, will be gone – for good.  All the photos and videos of me playing with my daughter will be gone – for good.

Yes, I hear what you say – photos don’t have any momentary value and in the scheme of things, the photos on my phone will not financially support my family after I’m gone.  But while financial support is important, the ‘small stuff’ is as important.  My daughter is very young and if I die tomorrow, she is unlikely to remember all the ‘cute and cuddly’ moments I shared with her.  She probably also won’t remember the sound of my voice.  If she had the photos and videos off my phone, she can look at me regularly and listen to my voice from to time. It may help her keep the memory of me alive for as long as she needs it.

Financial support for your loved ones is important but it’s the sentimental ‘stuff’ that people hold dear.  When that ‘stuff’ is gone, it’s gone for good.

I’m not saying that you need to run off to Officeworks or the like and print all the photos on your iphone.  Or, that you must transfer the videos on your iphone to another device.  Rather, I’m saying that you need to consider that all your photos and videos on your iphone may die with you unless you have a strategy in place concerning access to your iphone.  That strategy may be to give your password to a trusted person or it may be to write your password down and store it with your personal documentation.

If you have concerns about your Will and your sentimental ‘stuff’ and you want to make sure your stuff goes to your loved ones, please call me on 0450 499 822 or send an email to