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Do Phone Apps Organize Your Business? What If You Die?

Currently, Apple permits iPhone users’ survivors to delete data without reading, but a new “Legacy Contact” feature will allow them to designate data inheritors.

NEW YORK – A coming feature for iPhones and iPads will soon make it easier to share your data after death.

Apple rolled out its Legacy Contacts features to its developers test update for iOS 15 and iPadOS.

With the feature, users can designate a contact (or multiple) as a Legacy Contact. In the event of the user’s passing, the designated Legacy Contacts can quickly request access to the deceased’s iCloud data.

Apple has not specified when it will roll out the next update for iOS 15.

Other platforms provide similar tools to allow friends or family members to access your accounts if a user dies. On Facebook, for example, users can appoint a legacy contact to look after a “memorialized” version of their account. Friends and family can also request deleting an account for loved ones who have passed.

On Twitter, friends and family can request the deletion of the account for a deceased loved one, but there are no options to gain access to the account after death.

There are other steps users can take to organize their digital life before they die. Along with creating Legacy Contacts, iOS users can build a digital checklist of all their accounts with passwords, and lock down their smartphone.

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