Can ‘The Pure Land Passport’ Be Referred To In A Will?

Question: In ‘The Pure Land Passport: The Three Great Essentials When Approaching Death (临终三大要)‘, on page 57, in the section on ‘Important Guidelines: (1) Before Dying‘, the following is stated –

[1] Appointment: When well, or when dying but conscious, one should appoint two persons to take charge of implementing all instructions in this book. Their contact information should be made available to immediate family members after filling in the [names and phone numbers on the] first page of this book, which should be kept close by. Should the main person not be available when one is unconscious or unable to communicate, the second person should stand in.

It is best to prepare in advance, both a living will (for carrying out these instructions should one be alive but unable to communicate) [See page 66 on [10] Lasting Power Of Attorney], and a last will (for carrying out instructions should one be deceased, which should include Dharma donations for merit-making too). All these wishes, especially to follow the instructions in this book, should be clearly shared with all crucial family members to avoid conflicts when dying or after death.’

Is it legally valid for wills to include reference to wanting survivors (e.g. relatives and/or friends) to follow rites listed in the pages of ‘The Pure Land Passport’, referring to the book’s parts formally, as the book has a registered ISBN (International Standard Book Number: 978-981-09-7064-2) and edition number (1)?

Answer: A testator (who makes the will) can state how the rites should be conducted in his/her will. It is the duty of the executor (who executes the will) to carry out the testator’s wishes. As an executor might fail to carry them out, a trustworthy executor should be appointed. Do seek advice from a qualified lawyer to know more on considerations of will-making.

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