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Questions to ask oneself in order to document important information for end of life preparation.




TLC encourages everyone to write down the information below, an essential aspect of end of life preparation, and to make it accessible to those close to us. The importance of this documentation cannot be underestimated. To provide appropriate assistance, our loved ones, caregivers, and/or community need this information in order to accommodate our wishes. Without knowing the details below, unnecessary confusion, anxiety, stress, and difficult circumstances can arise for ourselves and everyone involved in our care. This can create obstacles for a smooth transition and can complicate the bereavement experienced by our survivors. Preparing end of life paperwork is an act of compassion for those who care about us, as well as a profound contemplation to assist in the understanding of impermanence, which supports our spiritual practice.


TLC suggests contemplating the first question and completing a list answering questions # 2 –14 and posting this in your home, with your Will, and distributing it to those who may be involved in your care.

1. Have you recognized your love for all beings and been able to resolve issues that create obstacles? Have you confessed your regrets, and forgiven yourself and others?


2. Who is your lama, teacher, or helpful spiritual friend, where is their contact information, and who has agreed to inform them of your passing?


3. Who would you like to request perform p'howa or "last rites" for you and where is their contact information? Have you arranged for this service ahead of time? If not, who will reach them for you?


4. Is your end of life paperwork (Advance Health Care Directive, Will/Trust) completed and current or do any of these need to be updated? Are these documents accessible and if so, have you informed anyone of their location? Include lists of accounts, user names, passwords, etc., including access to phones, texts, media, and email accounts. Is anyone designated to close them? Have you listed that person's contact information?


5. Do you have a designated Health Care Power of Attorney and if so, where is their contact information? Have you arranged for any particular person(s) to be present at your death?


6. Do you choose cremation and if not, what is your chosen method of interment? Have you made these arrangements in advance, documented the information regarding the disposition of your remains, and informed your Power of Attorney and family of this?


7. Do you have a 'Death Kit' and where is it? (see “Transitional Toolbox” under the top menu item, “Steps to Help”.)


8. Create a list of contacts - who do you want to be informed of your death and who will do the informing?


9. Which prayers and spiritual practices do you wish to have done before, during, and/or after your death? (This could include creating a "spiritual playlist" of recordings with mantra recitation, prayers, teachings, and/or rituals that you would like to hear.)


10. How do you want others to accumulate merit on your behalf, such as sponsoring life release, butter lamps, spiritual rituals, prayer flags, and/or donations?


11. What funds do you have to sponsor your wishes (such as prayers, rituals, butter lamps, etc.), where are they located, and who has access to them?


12. Do you want the Tibetan Book of the Dead to be read during or after death or not, and if so, by whom?


13. Do you wish for sa-tsas to be made with your ashes or alternative remains? 


14. What have you done regarding the distribution of your texts, malas or rosaries, implements, statues, and other religious and sacred items to insure that they are appropriately cared for and properly dispersed?


A comprehensive list regarding secular concerns is included in Instructions for the Transitional State, TLC’s end-of-life manual. When creating end-of-life paperwork, remember to include information about shutting down online accts., websites, blogs, and email programs, listing user names and passwords, etc.

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