Matthew's book will help people face up to death
There are two certainties in life, according to US founding father, Benjamin Franklin – “death and taxes” and retired Norfolk tax lawyer and now Anglican church minister Matthew Hutton is ideally placed to tackle both subjects in his new short book Your Last Gift. Keith Morris reports
We will all need Matthew’s sage advice sooner or later as we face our own death and that of someone close to us. Matthew’s plea is address the subject now – don’t wait until it is too late.
As he points out: “The loss of someone precious is utterly devastating. The long journey of bereavement is only just beginning. But a whole raft of practical jobs remains to be sorted: telling family and friends, planning the funeral and the wake, implementing the provisions of the Will (or lack of one), sorting and clearing the home and dealing with various layers of officialdom, not to mention a mass of other ‘stuff’. The ongoing pain and the heavy burden of the aftermath of death can be intense, almost overwhelming.”
But practical help is now close at hand in this short but incredibly useful book, which is dotted with light-hearted quotes about death to lighten the mood but packed with facts and more facts on what to do and how to go about it when somebody dies.
Chock full of practical advice from obtaining a Death Certificate, to the government Tell Us Once service, to starting the decluttering process right now.
This is very much a call-to-action book to start the process of bringing all the vital facts and figures about your own life into one very handy spreadsheet, which is supplied along with the book whether it is bought online (at £9.99) or in hardback (£19.99).
My own will was written almost a quarter of a century ago and much of it is now obsolete or not what I would now want to happen (not that I am thinking of dying anytime soon). I have started filling out the spreadsheet already.
There are much more eminent people than me that have also been convinced by Matthew’s efforts including Lord Prior of Brampton, former Chairman of the NHS and actor Stephen Fry: "Bravo. This is about as useful as a book can be.”
Former Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, writes: “Matthew’s own professional background as a solicitor and tax advisor is evident, but it’s his pastoral experience as a priest which has animated this project and taken it into areas we tend to avoid. I thought initially this was a book to commend to others, but now I realize that I needed to read it for myself and to act on it. Your Last Gift will be a blessing to many.”
Now a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk, Matthew concludes: “In a major sense, death is not the end, in that the grieving process continues for those you have left behind. But you can make it easier for them in particular, by leaving your affairs in order and by giving any help that might be appropriate to enable them to ‘move forward’.”
For more information, visit: www.yourlastgiftbook.com
Keith Morris, 24/01/2023