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Matthew’s new book will help people face up to death

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Credit to Keith Morris, writing for Network Norfolk

Life’s two certainties – death and taxes – are tackled in a new edition of Your Last Gift, written by retired Norfolk tax lawyer and Anglican church minister Matthew Hutton.

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. I am sure US founding father, Benjamin Franklin would agree. 

As Matthew 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 and packed with GMMA 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. 

A revised second edition was published on March 12 and incorporates the latest thinking on Inheritance Tax planning (including reference to the 2024 Budget Statement), current information on funeral options and procedures (with average costs). Also a new overview of the tax aspects of the UK pensions system, guidance on choosing both Executors and guardians for minor children and further detail of the UK probate procedure. Plus comment on some of the differences in practice and in law in the four countries which make up the United Kingdom, together with some compassionate thinking on how to frame our wishes for what may be the final weeks and days. 
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).

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’.

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