Apple demands widow get court order for password

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Lauren Glassberg has more details.

It's one of the last things you would want to be dealing with after losing someone you love, and for a widow in Canada, all she wanted was the password to her husband's iPad.

And for that, Apple demanded a court order.

Peggy Bush had a lot to deal with after her husband died, but the 72-year-old didn't think the most complicated thing would be getting a password.

"I could get pensions, I could get benefits, I could get all kinds of things," she said. "But from Apple, I couldn't even get a silly little password? It just seemed nonsense."

The couple had an iPad and an Apple computer, but Peggy didn't know the Apple ID password.

"It just never crossed my mind," she said.

When her card game stopped working, she needed that password.

"I just called Apple and said what do we do about this, thinking it would be a fairly simple thing to take care of," daughter Donna Bush said.

After many phone calls and giving Apple the serial numbers, her father's will and a notarized death certificate, she says she finally got an answer.

"You need a court order," Donna Bush said. "You need to go to court to do that. I said that was ridiculous. All I want to do is download a card game for my mother on the iPad. I don't want to have to go to court in order to do that."

After a Canadian news organization contacted Apple, representatives called Donna Bush saying there was a misunderstanding and offered help without a court order.

Apple won't talk about its policy, but estate lawyer daniel nelson specializes in what's called digital assets.

"It's definitely going to become a bigger issue," he said. "More and more people are transferring their lives online, and it's going to become a greater and greater proportion of one's estate."

Experts say wills should include how to deal with digital assets and where to find passwords, but not the passwords themselves.
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