Dad didn't spend much time on the computer, so mum stored the family photos under her account. I have provided ID and death certificate to Google, but now they want a California Court Order for them to release the photos to me. This gets awkward, since mum was, and I am, Swedish citizens, and none of us are US citizens. Does anyone have a solution?

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    Does Google know you are Swedish citizens? Google has to abide by the laws of any country they operate in and you may be provided additional protections under Swedish law. Additionally I'm not sure what is awkward about this situation. Follow Google's process, or please detail why you can't. Good luck! :)
    – Folk
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 22:52
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    Google's Inactive Account Manager lets people control what will happen to their data. Sorry, @MariaBenzin, that option is too late for your mum, but you and your dad can still prepare for the future.
    – Jerry101
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 23:30
  • I don't even know how to get a court order in California :) Where do I turn? Who do I ask? Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 15:27
  • Hope you've found some way to recover the photos already. If not, you could try recovering the Google Account password assuming you have access to to the phone number with which the account was registered.
    – mvark
    Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


From Submit a request regarding a deceased user's account

People expect Google to keep their information safe, even in the event of their death.

Make plans for your account

Inactive Account Manager is the best way for you to let us know who should have access to your information, and whether you want your account to be deleted. Set up Inactive Account Manager for your account.

Make a request for a deceased person's account

We recognize that many people pass away without leaving clear instructions about how to manage their online accounts. We can work with immediate family members and representatives to close the account of a deceased person where appropriate. In certain circumstances we may provide content from a deceased user's account. In all of these cases, our primary responsibility is to keep people's information secure, safe, and private. We cannot provide passwords or other login details. Any decision to satisfy a request about a deceased user will be made only after a careful review.

Below the above content there is a questionnaire. Check it out learn above the alternatives and information that Google requires regarding accounts / content of deceased people.

  • I clicked the link for "obtain data from a deceased person's account, and the first statement is: Before you start this form, please review the information below and check to confirm that you agree. I understand that, if my request to get information from a deceased person's account is approved, I will need to get a court order issued in the United States. I also understand that Google will provide me with the necessary language for the court order. * So I need to find a lawyer in US to help me with that... Commented Jan 20, 2018 at 14:02

Did your mom have a phone number linked to her google account? If so you could use her phone to try to re-set her google password, possibly. Once you can get into her email you might be able to access her photos.

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