TRURO – During a hospital stay, Andrew Smith came to a stark realization: if he were to die, his family knew little about his final wishes.
“I ended up in the hospital for six days in 2010 and had to have a toe amputated, and someone close to me had just passed away,” he recalled. “I thought I should have things recorded. Who would care for my pet was a big issue for me.”
Smith, who spent his teenage years in Truro and now lives in Vancouver, thought about a friend whose uncle wrote down his final wishes, only to have the papers lost.
“I felt it would be safer if they could log into any computer and access the information,” he said. “There is something in the U.K. and something in the U.S. where people can do this so I created Final Wish, offering more features.”
The website, which launched April 6, allows people to create a profile and store information on their final wishes, free of charge. This can include who they want to care for their pets, how they want social media handled, music they’d like to have played at a service and what type of service they’d like to have in their memory. Members can sign in at any time to make changes. After they die, chosen confidants can access the information by logging in from any computer or mobile phone.
By upgrading to gold, at a cost of $25 per year, people can also include photo galleries, a slideshow and music they want shared as a memorial.
“It’s about being prepared,” said Smith. “This takes a load off my mind. I created this to help people and in just a couple of weeks hundreds have signed up and I’m getting lots of personal emails from people happy to have this.”
When a confidant attempts to access the information an email is sent to the member, who can choose to allow or deny access. If there is no response within 24 hours, the confidant can view what is stored.
Smith reminds people that the website is not legally binding and they should also have wills prepared.
More information can be found at www.finalwish.ca .