ringu-tulku“It would be good to make a Will so that you don’t have to be attached to your belongings, property, or money or things like that. And also that you don’t create an opportunity for people to fight afterwards. Everything is settled so that you donâ’t have to feel that these things are taken by somebody, or without your consent, like, “I didn’t want that to happen like that, but to be very satisfied that your things go where you want them to go, it’s very important to make it clear.”

Ringu Tulku

As soon as a person dies, usually most Tibetans would write a letter requesting prayers and then send it with a small donation. Then they send this to Dalai Lama, to Karmapa, to Sakye Trinzin and all great and good lamas; incarnate lamas, rinpoches, khenpos, monasteries, every monastery that you have good connection with or you have devotion or positive connection with. You give them all a donation, because we can’t say exactly which lama has the right circumstance or connections or power to help this person who has died. So therefore the more widely you request prayers the more the chance is that there may be someone who is very good at helping, some right connections, so we send a small donation. In India it’s something like five rupees, ten rupees, two hundred rupees, five hundred rupees; if it’s a very important lama and you have a very great connection then you send more and if not, send just a little bit, even if it is five rupees, and a scarf or something like that, this is one thing which the Tibetans do, especially where I come from. It’s not which school or which sect or anything like that from this point of view – I would have no problem if Christians also pray for me, Muslims, or Jews or whoever, so I think it is good.
Ringu Tulku’s own words on making offerings for prayers

Some Key Points to consider when making a Will

Professional will

It’s best to seek the guidance and advice of qualified financial and legal advisors. A Will that is valid and legal is a good way to make sure that you protect those that you care about from a lot of unnecessary stress, time and expense in sorting out your affairs after you have died.


Choose executors carefully, they will be acting on your behalf and carrying out your instructions after your death and should be trustworthy and familiar with your wishes. You may ask your solicitor to be an executor, along with a trusted family member or friend.
Check with the executors that you choose that they are happy to take on this role for you.


If you have young children, think about choosing a trustee or guardian for them. You might also want to allocate funds in your Will for the guardian to meet the additional expenses they will need to care for your children. Again, these can be held in trust by a solicitor.


Consider all the possessions you have and who you would like to inherit them. In consultation with your financial and legal advisors, ensure that your assets and possessions are effectively disposed of to all your chosen beneficiaries and tax benefits are taken into account.
You may wish to give possessions away before you die, especially those of sentimental value.

Inheritance Tax

Check the inheritance tax of your country.


You may wish to consider leaving some money to a favourite charity and gain tax relief on the donation. For example the Rigul Trust oversees the humanitarian projects of Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, supporting health, education and poverty relief especially in Rigul, Tibet.

Please see: http://www.rigultrust.org/legacy.html

Sign your Will

You need to sign your Will in front of two independent witnesses. A witness cannot be a person named in the Will.

Storing your Will

After signing and witnessing your Will, it needs to be kept in a secure place to prevent it from loss, flood, fire, or damage. Let your executors or relatives know where it is kept. If possible, place a copy with your solicitor.


Review your will regularly (every 3-5 years) The most common changes that affect Wills are marriage, divorce, birth/adoption of children, property selling or moving and any other major change to your circumstances, affairs and family.

Letters of Wishes

This is not a legally binding document but you may have wishes that you would like your Executors to consider when you die. This Letter of Wishes can be stored with your legally binding Will. Also Letters of Wishes can be updated and changed as often as needed without any cost.

Celebrate your life

Clearly outline your funeral arrangements, whether you wish to be cremated or buried and the type of service you would like after you have gone. Choosing music and readings that have meant something to you, are all things that can be outlined in a Will. Relatives may find this helpful.

Offerings and Prayers

It is possible to request prayers in return for a small offering from designated monasteries and nunneries, as well as from individual Rinpoches, Lamas, Abbots etc. especially where you feel a personal connection. A certain amount of funding could be designated from your estate in your will*(see Ringu Tulku’s words below). Friends can also make offerings for you if they wish.

To request prayers online from the Tshok Dak Foundation for Nyingma Monasteries

To request prayers online from the Major Tibetan Monasteries and Nunneries of India and Nepal