This is when we make merit on behalf of another or for all living beings, or for the dead. We undertake an action, make a gift or in some way accrue merit, assigning it to someone else. We would do it “May this merit be for all beings” or “may this merit be for ________”. This does not cause us to lose merit, rather it spreads the merit, just as one candle may light a thousand candles. Just as one candles ability to provide light is increased by the others it lit, so is the merit multiplied. One of the times we may do this, is when a person is sick, and we want to provide them with merit to aid them. Buddha also instructs us to make merit on behalf of our deceased parents.