Apple demands a court order to unlock an iPad bequeathed after death

Detailed by BBC News today, 26-year-old Josh Grant of London is running into heavy resistance from Apple when it comes to unlocking an iOS tablet bequeathed to his family by his late mother. Previously purchasing the iPad to help pass the time during cancer treatments, Grant’s late mother primarily used the Apple tablet to play games as well as place video calls to talk with her friends and family. Sadly, she lost her battle with the disease and indicated within a will that her estate should be split among her five children. The children collectively decided that the oldest son should take the Apple tablet.

However, Grant’s mother didn’t write down the Apple ID and password that would be required to unlock the tablet. It’s required to circumvent an iOS7 feature called Activation Lock that makes it difficult for anyone else to use the device. Kicking off the process, Apple first requested written authorization from the original owner to unlock the iPad. Speaking about the request, Grant said “We obviously couldn’t get written permission because mum had died. So my brother has been back and forth with Apple, they’re asking for some kind of proof that he can have the iPad.”

At this point, Grant sent over the death certificate, his mother’s will and a solicitor’s letter in an attempt to prove to Apple that the request was legitimate. However, these documents were not enough proof for Apple and the company responded with a demand for a court order.

At this point, the entire process become cost prohibitive for the brothers. Grant stated “It’s going to have to go through our solicitor and he charges £200 an hour so it’s a bit of a false economy.” That’s a minimum of $335 for an hour of work and obtaining a court order could take multiple hours. Likely frustrated by the drawn-out process, Grant joked about using the tablet as “a shiny placemat” for the near future.

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