Apple has been accused of showing an “utter lack of understanding and discretion” when the officials refused to unlock a dead woman’s iPad for her sons. When Andrea Grant passed away, she left her sons Josh and Patrick as co-executors or her will and estate.
When they asked Apple to unlock the device, Apple asked for a copy of Andrea’s death certificate, will, a letter for Apple's solicitor, and a court order.
Apple has started to require an Apple ID and password when you try and reset an iOS device. This means that if you want to give your iPad away or sell it, you need to reset it to factory settings yourself and then wipe any link it has to your account.
It’s a tough case for Apple, since if the company readily unlocks devices when asked, it could easily be used by fraudsters and thieves to use stolen iOS devices. Apple also made this information publicly available in the iCloud Free Account terms and conditions: “You agree that your Account is non-transferable and that any rights to your Apple ID or Content within your Account terminate upon your death.”