If you’ve already taken steps to prepare an estate plan, you understand the benefits and importance of planning ahead. There is a new feature on iPhones that allows users to plan how they want their personal data shared after passing away. Adding a Legacy Contact to your account is a simple and important step in protecting your data and making sure your cherished items are not lost.

Nowadays, most people use their smartphones as a personal computer, storing tremendous amounts of information and personal details. We use our phones to keep everything from contacts and calendars, to cherished photos and personal notes. While it can be convenient to have all this information in your pocket, accessing these important items can become a nuisance when someone passes away.

When you add a Legacy Contact to your iPhone, you are granting that trusted contact access to your saved data after you pass away. This process is simple, it allows you to add one or more of your closest contacts, and those contacts do not need to have an iPhone themselves.

Here are the steps to add a Legacy Contact:
On your iPhone or iPad:

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap your name
  • Tap Sign-In & Security
  • Tap Legacy Contact
  • Tap Add Legacy Contact
  • You might be asked to authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or your device passcode

From the Add Legacy Contact screen, you will also be able to see if you are the Legacy Contact for anyone else.

Adding a Legacy Contact does not give that person access to sensitive information such as login credentials or payment information. This feature is intended to help ease the access to your stored data, such as photos, messages, notes, contacts, calendar events, and more. If you are the only person with access to your online bank accounts, utility accounts, or other important institutions, you should securely store this log-in information so that it can also be passed along.

Following a death, there are numerous responsibilities adding to the already overwhelming and emotional experience. Taking a few minutes to simplify some of the steps can go a long way in easing the lives of your loved ones, as well as making sure your data is safe and secure in the hands of someone you trust.

If you are just getting started with estate planning, download our free eBook to learn about wills, trust, and which options are right for you. Atlas Law also offers free consultations to help answer your estate planning questions.

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About the Author: Aaron R. Shahan is an attorney at Atlas Law, PLC. Aaron dedicates his practice to virtually all aspects of estate planning, elder law, and probate.

We offer free consultations. Call today (248) 773-5555.