He says, "We've been as brothers for longer than I can remember, and while I was not rich in life, I would like to bring some wealth with me as I die. If you could each leave $5,000 in my coffin, it would bring me great peace."
The three men saw no fault in this, as they were all very rich, and all upstanding members of their respective communities.
Jim was a devout, aging Catholic, and he brought the five thousand in large bills, so as not to occupy much space in the coffin. He later told the members of his congregation, and oh how they lauded him on his selflessness to ease the mind of a dying friend.
Michael was a Hindu, and he feared that the dead had no use for paper money, so he converted the five thousand into gold for his friend, leaving the ingots next to the bills. He felt a great warmth inside of him, a feeling that can only be brought about by a good, charitable deed.
David was born Jewish, but wasn't so devout as many of his colleagues. He refused to buck off the stereotype and worked as a moneylender, a loan agent. Because of this, he understood how exchange rates worked and how trying to convert 3 different types of money to one may be hard for a man with little experience handling cash. Therefore, he wrote a check for fifteen thousand dollars, and took the gold and bills as change. He left his friend's side with such a great smile, he must have known the time he'd saved him in the afterlife.