Apple now lets you pick someone to inherit your data when you die

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FILE – The line-up of the Apple iPhone 13 is displayed on their first day of sale, in New York, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(NEXSTAR) – A feature included in Apple’s latest iPhone update is something most people probably don’t want to think about: who gets access to their phone if (or should we say when?) they die.

The change to Apple’s “Digital Legacy” feature is included in iOS 15.2. Now, people can designate contacts who will have access to their accounts when they die.

Those loved ones will have access to photos, text messages, notes, apps and more. Certain things like payment information and passwords won’t be accessible, according to Apple.

Users can designate up to five loved ones as legacy contacts. A user will be given an access code that should be put with a person’s estate planning information. Eventually, a legacy contacts can present that code and a death certificate to Apple to obtain access to your accounts.

Legacy contacts verified by the company will have access to the account for three years. At that time, the account will be permanently deleted, Apple says.

Here’s how to designate a legacy contact:

  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone and click your name at the top.
  2. Tap “Password & Security,” then “Legacy Contact.”
  3. Designate up to five contacts as legacy contacts.
  4. Print and save the access code. Your contacts will need this and your death certificate to gain access.

Apple has more information about how to request access to a deceased loved one’s account here.

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