Jewish law deals with all aspects of life, including passing on. Following are laws and traditions regarding putting one's spiritual and material affairs in order.

Material Affairs

It is important to write a will under the guidance of a competent rabbi, even while one is perfectly healthy. If one is not capable of writing such a document, he may verbally instruct others to write down his wishes.

One should indicate:

  • If he owes any money, or if money is owed to him.

  • If he is guarding anything that someone deposited with him.

  • How to dispose of his property and belongings.

  • That his funeral and burial be in accordance with Jewish law.

  • That his descendants should follow Jewish ways and traditions.

One should not bequeath all his property to strangers and leave his heirs empty-handed, even if they did not treat him properly. Additionally, one should will a portion of one's property or money to charity.

Spiritual Affairs

One should take stock of his spiritual state and commit to improve whatever he can. If his heart is full of repentance, even in the final second, he is given entrance to Heaven. As we find in the Mishna, "Anyone who confesses is guaranteed a place in the World to Come." Our sages have instituted a set of prayers called Viduy, Confession (see following chapter). This should be recited before one feels his final moments are approaching.