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Estate Planning with Apple’s Legacy Contact

Client Alert

What happens to your Apple ID account when you die? Apple has created a feature among its products which allows you to choose one or more people to have access to your Apple ID account following your death. Apple refers to the online tool as a “Legacy Contact.” An Apple user may designate anyone to be their Legacy Contact, including those who do not own an Apple device or have an Apple ID. You can send the legacy contact a message that includes the access key, or you can print off a copy and keep it with your estate documents. At any time before your death, you may remove someone from being a Legacy Contact. The person you have removed will not receive a notification that they have been removed. However, their access key will no longer work.

If you are named as someone’s Legacy Contact and the account holder has passed, you can access their data by submitting a request to Apple with the access key that you received and the account holder’s death certificate. Once this information has been verified and access has been approved, the Legacy Contact will receive a special Apple ID to access the account data. The data a Legacy Contact may access includes photos, notes, mail, contacts, calendars, reminders, messages, call history, health data, Safari bookmarks, voice memos, and files stored. The Legacy Contact’s access only lasts for three years, and the account will be deleted permanently following the three-year period.

Apple’s new feature has a significant impact on estate planning. Under Ohio law, online tools such as Apple’s Legacy Contact supersede contrary directions in a person’s will, trust, power of attorney, or other record. This means that if you do not name the same person to be your Legacy Contact as you name in your will or trust, your Legacy Contact may act contrary to what your will or trust states. Therefore, it is important to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney when determining how to handle digital assets. Those who do not have a plan for their digital assets may be susceptible to identity theft, losses to the estate, exposure of secrets, and loss of sentimental data.

If you have any questions regarding Apple’s Legacy Contact or planning for your digital assets, please contact Cassandra Manna at or (216) 658-2206.

“In for a Penny, in for a Pound” is No Longer the Case for Florida Lawyers

On April 1, 2024, newly adopted Rule 1.041 to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedures goes into effect which creates a procedure for an attorney to appear in a limited manner in civil proceedings.  Currently, when a Florida attorney appears in a civil proceeding, he or she is reasonable for handling all aspects of the case for their client.  This new rule authorizes an attorney to file a notice limiting the attorney’s appearance to particular proceedings or specified matters prior to any appearance before the court.  For example, an attorney can now appear for the limited purpose of filing and arguing a motion to dismiss.  Once the motion to dismiss is heard by the court, the attorney may file a notice of termination of limited appearance and will have no further obligations in the case.

Enhancing Privacy Protections for Substance Use Disorder Patient Records

On February 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) finalized updated rules to 42 CFR Part 2 (“Part 2”) for the protection of Substance Use Disorder (“SUD”) patient records. The updated rules reflect the requirement that the Part 2 rules be more closely aligned with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) privacy, breach notification, and enforcement rules as mandated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020.

Columbus, Ohio Ordinance Prohibits Employers from Inquiries into an Applicant’s Salary History

Effective March 1, 2024, Columbus employers are prohibited from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history. Specifically, the ordinance provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice to:

The Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board’s Latest Batch of Rules: What Providers Should Know

The Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board has introduced new rules and amendments, covering various aspects such as CDCA certificate requirements, expanded services for LCDCs and CDCAs, remote supervision, and reciprocity application requirements. Notable changes include revised criteria for obtaining a CDCA certification, expanded services for LCDCs and CDCAs, and updated ethical obligations for licensees and certificate holders, including non-discrimination, confidentiality, and anti-sexual harassment measures.

Governor Mike DeWine and The Ohio State University Introduce the SOAR Study on Ohio Mental Illness

On January 19, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and The Ohio State University announced a new research initiative, the State of Ohio Adversity and Resilience (“SOAR”) study, which will investigate all factors influencing Ohio’s mental illness and addiction epidemic.