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Apple, Italians, and Ecryption

apple Leonardo-Fabbretti-jpgIn a topic that is evergreen, an Italian man adopted a boy from Ethiopia in 2007.  The boy tragically died of cancer last year at the age of 13.  The boy owned an iPhone 6 which both he and his father accessed by finger print ID.  After his son died, the father lost access to the phone because he claims the phone restarted during an access attempt.  The father has since written to Tim Cook begging him to assist with unlocking the phone so he can see the last two months of his son’s photos and life.   Apple has been unable to assist him.  In lieu of unlocking the phone, the guy has said he will accept a donation to an orphanage benefiting Ethiopian children.

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A Bitter Apple

A British woman died and left her iPad to her children.  She used it for e-mail and games after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.  Her children  have been unable to access all of the content on it because they do not have her Apple ID and password.  Apple has requested a court order proving that she was the owner of the iPad and the account.  The legal fees for obtaining the court order would exceed the value of the iPad.

Several points:

1.  I advise all of my clients to write down their on-line passwords and store them safely so that heirs can access their digital assets if necessary.

2.  When one is terminally ill, tasks such as making a will, discussing funeral arrangements, sharing passwords, etc.,  that can be done today should be done today.  There is no reason to delay because there might not be a tomorrow.

3.  The iPad will work without the Apple ID so what is likely happening is that the family does not know the iPad’s 4 digit lock code.  With 10,000 combinations and a five minute lock after 3 incorrect guesses, the family should be able to crack the code in 11.5 days with methodical guessing.  Their time might be better spent working to buy a new iPad and forgo listening to mom’s music and playing her Angry Birds.

There Is Gold in the Walls! Part 2

Following up on an earlier post. A woman will officially inherit her reclusive first cousin’s $7.4 million estate after a court ruled that she is his only heir. After the man died, the estate auctioneer found $7.4 million of gold coins in his house.

Several points:

1. When someone dies without a will, the estate does not escheat to the state. Statutes set forth how the estate will be distributed which is generally along the lines of closest living relative.

2. Only one first cousin? That is a narrow family tree.

3. Gold was a great investment for him (actually for his cousin). Apple stock would have been better.

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All Posts By Jay Brinker

I am an attorney located in Cincinnati, Ohio who practices in the areas of estate planning, probate, asset protection, and small business advice. I make a difficult and bewildering process as simple as possible. Most importantly, I provide "more for less" for my clients.