Question: Is it better to donate clothes and such of the deceased to the needy during the 49 days after death, or beyond?
Answer: What more urgent to do is to offer ample guidance (开示) and support-chanting (助念), to guide towards and support the best rebirth possible, especially within the 49 days, in case the deceased is not yet reborn. This sequence of practice is recommended: https://purelanders.com/wake.
With that said, donating items of the deceased should be after 49 days, also in case there is yet to be rebirth, thus possibly with attachment to the belongings, with the removal of which there might be aversion (i.e. anger). Such attachment and aversion can lead to an unfortunate rebirth. If such defilements are strong, one might even become a restless spirit for indefinite time.
Question: Some suggested that donation should be within 49 days, so as to create more meritorious virtues (功德) to facilitate a better rebirth. How can this be reconciled?
Answer: There can be various other donations in cash first, in the name of the deceased, on his or her behalf, instead of his or her items in kind. For more on the dos and don’ts after death, please see https://purelanders.com/now.