A man whose mother bequeathed her iPad to her family in her will says Apple's security rules are too restrictive.
Josh Grant, 26, from London, told BBC Radio 4's You & Yours his mother bought the tablet during her cancer treatment.
Since her death, they have been unable to unlock the device, despite providing Apple with copies of her will, death certificate and solicitor's letter.
Apple says its security measures have led the industry in helping customers protect lost or stolen devices.
Anthea Grant bought the tablet two years ago when she had her first cancer diagnosis, using it mainly for games and for video calling to keep in touch with her sons.
In her will she indicated that her estate was to be split between her five boys, and the brothers decided the eldest son Patrick should have the iPad.
After her death, they discovered they did not know her Apple ID and password, but were asked to provide written consent for the device to be unlocked.
Mr 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.
"We've provided the death certificate, will and solicitor's letter but it wasn't enough. They've now asked for a court order to prove that mum was the owner of the iPad and the iTunes account.
"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."
The security measures are designed to prevent unauthorised access to Apple users' online iCloud accounts, which could include personal documents, photos and messages.
Mr Grant said: "I thought we might use it as a shiny placemat. I'm a big fan of Apple, their security measures are great but we have provided so much evidence.
"At 59, my mum was fairly young, I've already lost my dad and it's a bit cold of them not to treat things on a case-by-case basis."
Apple told You & Yours it had led the industry in helping customers protect lost or stolen devices, and that Find My iPhone, launched in 2009, allowed customers to remotely set up passwords and remove personal information.
It added that a measure called Activation Lock also gave customers control of their device and acted as a theft deterrent.
Since publication, Apple has acknowledged it misunderstood the request to unlock the device. The company has now restored the factory settings. It maintains a court order would be needed to access the iCloud.