The Gemara recounts that when Mar Ukva was about to pass away, he saw that the sum total of all the tzedakah he gave [in his lifetime] came to seven thousand gold Dinars. He then commented, “Such a long road with such few provisions!” — he meant to say that he did not prepare enough for his final journey. He therefore distributed half of his possessions to tzedakah. And although the Sages taught that one should not give away more than a fifth of his possessions to tzedakah, that is true only during a person’s lifetime, but when someone is about to die it is permissible to apportion as much as he wishes to tzedakah. It is obvious that when a person sets out on a journey, he prepares provisions in accord with the length of the road and with the amount of days he will be traveling. So, too, one should prepare “provisions” well in advance for his ultimate “journey.” Even if one could send ahead millions of gold Dinars of tzedakah — it would not suffice.
From the above we see that the rule that a person fulfills the mitzvah of tzedakah by giving a tenth of his earnings is true only during one’s lifetime, so that he should not become poor himself and will come to rely on the gifts of others. But it is each person’s duty to instruct in his will, with full legal force, that after his death a significant portion of his possessions should be earmarked for mitzvos and good deeds — in accord with the blessing of Hashem. But he should first calculate how much his children will need to support themselves with dignity, and the rest he should “take” for himself.
Let the person think about this: One wishes with all his desire and will to leave behind great wealth for his children, and even if he does not have any children, he has compassion for some relative to whom he can leave great wealth. So how can one not have compassion for himself that he not be left empty and bereft of everything in the World to Come? Does he not have enough sense to sustain the heart of the downtrodden with what he was graced by Hashem? It would be so beneficial for himself, to atone for his sins! And although one cares about his children or other relatives, nevertheless the person himself comes first to take whatever he needs for correcting his soul. Let him view himself at least as one of his children, and take a portion of his possessions to give to needy Torah scholars. What benefit will there be for his soul by leaving great wealth for his children while he will go empty and truly impoverished. After his death, he will have so much regret about this!
So, one who desires eternal life, without risk and the dangers of gilgul (re-birth), will do whatever is in his power to do, physically and financially, and he will prepare provisions for his final path. He will then go forth to his end, he will rest and his soul will delight in rich “food.”