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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

‘Your Last Gift’ – distils professional advice the author’s been giving for a lifetime

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

A review of Your Last Gift by Matthew Hutton, from Charles Parker:

This slim and friendly book (2022)is a practical guide to getting your affairs in order before your inevitable demise. It tells you what you should do now in order to make it as easy as possible for those you leave behind to sort out your affairs. As the title implies, it is a generous gift to your nearest and dearest.

The author, Matthew Hutton, is well qualified to write on this topic. He is a tax specialist, farmer and Anglican priest. He practised as a solicitor before running his own tax consultancy, advising and lecturing on estate planning and trusts.

There are plenty of books about bereavement and dealing with grief, but this one is a step-by-step guide which will help those who are left behind sort out all the practical ‘stuff’.

Very usefully, it also provides the forms which can help set out all the relevant information in a way which is flexible and easy to use. Purchasers of the book can access these forms electronically via

The book distils the professional advice the author has been giving over a lifetime and does so in an elegant and positive fashion. It is wittily written and the quotations and illustrations take the reader along an otherwise gruesome path in a cheerful and exceedingly helpful manner. It also prompts the reader, while he or she is making these arrangements, carefully to consider their own future and to make the best possible use of the time left to us on earth.

If anything, there is almost too much information here. But what is clear is that if you complete what Matthew calls ‘the essentials’ you will be doing your heirs and successors a huge favour.

This book should be read by anyone approaching their own retirement, or who wants to make sure that those they love and leave behind will have as easy a time as possible with the awful admin that accompanies bereavement. It should also inspire them to live well. Matthew trained as a classicist, so the first quote appropriately is from Horace, the Roman lyric poet:

‘Enjoy yourself; it’s later than you think.’




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