New Revised 2nd Edition is out now!

About the Book

CMost of us, let’s face it, find it hard to come to terms with our own mortality.  And of course that is an essential precursor to admitting our need of this book (or something like it). 

Matthew had noticed a number of friends dying without providing those left behind with what they needed to sort out their financial affairs, plus other things.  The family was simply left to pick up the pieces.  Making a Will (which not all have done) is only the start of it, as there’s a whole raft of practical jobs to be done, including dealing with various layers of officialdom.  So Matthew thought that by guiding people gently through the exercise, the devastating journey of bereavement could be made a whole lot easier.

The aim of the Book is to be both ‘concise’ and ‘comprehensive’. So the text, which takes the individual and their family through the various stages of preparation, runs to just 120 pages – intentionally.  Included within it are six Appendices containing the two checklists and the five forms which are set out as a spreadsheet on the website to be filled in and customised to the Reader’s own circumstances.  Alternatively, the Checklists and the forms can be downloaded from the website as a flexible word document or purchased (at an additional cost) as a ring-bound A4 book. The forms are set out in the Book, both as a pointer to the digital versions and for those who may want to create their own forms to use as a guide.

About the Author

Matthew was born and bred on a farm in Norfolk. He studied classics at Oxford University and qualified as a solicitor in 1979. From then until his retirement in 2013, he practised as a solicitor before running his own tax consultancy, advising, lecturing and writing books on estate planning and trusts.

Since his father’s death in 1984, he has managed the family farm. In 2014 he was ordained as a self-supporting minister in the Church of England. In 2020 Matthew was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Norfolk. Married to Annie, they have three children and two grandchildren.

“Bravo! This is about as useful as a book can be”

Stephen Fry

“We all want the last word – but this is the best ‘last word’ of the lot, and gives one a chance to leave this world having said everything necessary.”

Jonathan Ruffer – Chairman, Ruffer LLP

“This Book is an essential guide to surviving the administrative burden of grief. Matthew provides us with a sensible and practical approach for preparing for the inevitable with helpful signposts to guide you along the way. Be prepared to think deeply, to reflect openly and to act steadily as the following pages provide invaluable wisdom and knowledge, applicable to every person on planet Earth.”

Fiona Stuart – partner at Ashtons Legal

“Preparing for Death is not a happy subject and one should not expect an easy read especially as the author is both a lawyer and a priest. Prepare to be surprised. This book is light hearted, anecdotal, amusing as well as being informative, factual, practical and useful. We have all got to die. The lesson of this book is: Don’t make a mess of it. Sadly, most of us do.”

Lord Prior of Brampton - former MP and former Chairman of the National Health Service

“Matthew’s book is a fascinating warning to those who can’t face the idea of death. As a retired solicitor and a vicar, his Book has a practical and a spiritual combination which is informative and soothing at the same time. I enjoyed it very much.”

Rupert Everett - actor

“Like soldiers on the front line, perhaps the Pandemic concentrated the mind of all of us about the issues of life and death. It is a truism that that the only certainty in life is that one day we will die – the uncertainty is knowing when. For those who deeply love their family and friends, there can be no better legacy than to leave an unequivocal statement of what should happen to our affairs when we have died. Matthew Hutton’s book is an urgent stimulus to action and a clear guide to ensuring that the present passes to the future in the kindest way possible.”

General The Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL
- Former Chief of the General Staff