FAQs

Learn more about the MeaVitae platform and see how we are helping people manage their lives better and plan for the future.

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Why MeaVitae?

Secure Digital Vault

Companies

3rd Party Services

Planning your Legacy

Dying without a Will

Inheritance Tax

Technology

Why MeaVitae?

MeaVitae: the Key to Life Management?

What nightmares would occur if your finacial data was compromised?

MeaVitae is the only platform that provides an ultra secure space for you to store your data and manage your life. Our technology encrypts everything you upload so only you can decrypt it using a special hardware key linked to your account. As long as the key and associated PIN are kept safe then no one can see the encrypted data in your vault even if your account password becomes known. And when we say no one we mean no one – not even MeaVitae can see your information!

So secure your what you care about and just Live Life®

Have you MeaVitae’d your life?

MeaVitae wants to help you Live Life® to the fullest by making the mundane easier so you can focus on what makes you happy. We make it easy for you to see what you have and what you owe so you can see your net worth, better understand your personal value and so budget and plan for the future and any unexpected events. We all have a legacy that we would like to pass on such as objects and memories about our past and MeaVitae wants to make it easy for you to pass on your heritage. We actively encourage you to create a will using our Will Creator to ensure your legacy as well as letting you leave notes and files so your memory lives on. We believe that to ‘MeaVitae your life’ should be about being prepared whilst enjoying what you have.

Would you like to get rid of all your paperwork?

Modern life seems to have amplified the demands on our attention and increased rather than diminished the amount of communication, both paper and electronic, that we are inundated with every day. While we need to keep track of some of this paperwork such as pension valuations we don’t really need to keep all the paper copies cluttering up drawers and cupboard space until they can be forgotten about. At MeaVitae we to experience and understand this pain and have designed our platform to help remove this ‘noise’ by storing electronic copies of non-essential paperwork in an ultra secure environment so you can dispose of the originals.

Do you have all your life’s information in one place?

MeaVitae provides features to help you record information about your assets (such as their physical location), your liabilities (such as monthly bills) and your accounts (such as investments and pensions) all in one ultra secure place with easy access. As your network of contacts grows this information ends up being stored in multiple locations both on and offline. MeaVitae lets you easily import and manage your contacts all within the application so that you only need to have one place to come.

Do you care about what happens to all your ‘stuff’ should anything happen to you?

If so, MeaVitae is definitely for you! Our tools and features let you keep track of the things that you care about and makes sure that your family will be taken care of and your legacy will continue if something happens to you. The only way to make sure that your ‘stuff’ goes to the right people is to draw up a will and MeaVitae lets you create one easily. We can even connect you with legal professionals to add enhancements to it if you have complicated financial affairs such as foreign property or the need for trusts.

Who is important to you and how do you want to be remembered?

We have family, friends, work associates and acquaintances who mean something to us and who we might want to consider helping in the future. The MeaVitae Will Creator lets you connect your assets to beneficiaries from your MeaVitae Address Book and record these as bequests in a will. You can be sure that you are looking out for those most important to you. Gift items of personal value or add notes and files about your life and heritage which can be seen and used by those left behind. You can also support charities whether these are for animal welfare, the environment or helping those people in greatest need – charitable giving after your death is easy and best of all donations are deducted from your estate before Inheritance Tax is calculated so it is tax-efficient as well!

Do you know what you have got and what it is worth?

We have busy lives and often don’t feel we have the time, the resources or the inclination to keep track of everything we own and everything we spend. But to better plan for life events such as having children, buying property or even going on that dream holiday, you need to understand your finances and MeaVitae provides you with features to take the stress and pain out of doing so. Once you have recorded your information on our platform you can quickly and easily amend it any time, any place and see your net worth at a glance. Most of us simply renew our insurance, utilities and subscription services without bothering to look for better deals and companies rely on our inertia and raise their premiums to boot knowing we will panic buy at the last minute. We want to break this stranglehold and by encouraging you to record and monitor maturity dates you have time to plan and get better deals.

Is all your financial data secure?

Much of our financial information is stored by 3rd party providers such as banks and investment companies but do other people know these accounts exist? Your money can get lost in dormant accounts and may never be reclaimed by the people you care about because they simply don’t know it exists. MeaVitae wants you to store details, including passwords if you wish, to all your accounts and investment in one ultra secure encrypted online vault that can only be accessed using state-of-the-art hardware technology so that nothing is lost even if you don’t want people to know about it now.

How important is privacy to you?

After years of hearing news about data hacks, most people are now all too well aware of how much of their personal information is floating around the internet. Even if not hacked, much of it is in the hands of a small number of huge private corporations who make their money by selling your information on. At MeaVitae, we fervently believe that your data is yours and yours alone, so we protect it using state-of-the-art technology to encrypt it to ensure that nobody, not even MeaVitae, can ever see your data. Put simply it cannot ever fall into the wrong hands or be sold to marketers. However, it is your data so you should be able to share it with people and organisations you trust, such as your solicitor, accountant or wealth manager, and MeaVitae provides the flexibility to share information securely if you wish. We know that you should be able to make the most of what you already have or want in the future so we can connect you to trusted 3rd party service providers, but we will only ever do so with your explicit consent and never provide any of your financial data to these providers unless you decide to share it.

Can MeaVitae provide me with legal advice?

MeaVitae is not a lawyer or a law firm and does not engage in the practice of law or provide legal advice or legal representation.

However, while we don’t provide advice we can connect our members to our preferred legal services provider who can be engaged, at their standard rates, to offer advice.

Secure Digital Vault

Why should you care about keeping your information in one place?

Recording all your information in one place offers you and your family the peace of mind that everything is readily available and understood if required. By storing information about assets, liabilities and accounts, you can see your net worth and keep valuations up-to-date so you can budget for those big life events. All this with the added benefit that because you can store all the associated paperwork in the system, you can dispose of the mountains of filings in drawers and cupboards. This leaves you with time to focus on what really matters, whether that is that your investments are actually working for you or that you get to spend quality family time. You simply get to Live Life®

Are you concerned about your personal and financial information getting into the wrong hands?

Most people have heard of problems with data and log-in details being hacked and then published on the dark web and even some big well-known companies have been caught out. If you data is exposed then you are open to more spam, fraud, having your online accounts attacked or even identify theft. At MeaVitae we know that privacy and information security is your primary concern which is why we have implemented state-of-the-art authentication and encryption technologies so that only you (and those you authorise) can view your data. Using this technology no one, not even MeaVitae, can see your data so there is no risk that your data will fall into the hands of criminals.

Can MeaVitae technology really protect my data?

MeaVitae takes the concept of authentication and data security to the next level and when our state-of-the-art hardware technology is used in conjunction with a username & password and PIN, the combined information provides an incredibly secure form of security. The hardware key acts as a tiny computer that can be used to authenticate you and is practically impossible to fake. These features combine to ensure that your digital vault is as secure as it can be using current technology.

Companies

What can MeaVitae offer to support my employees?

The MeaVitae platform provides peace of mind that everything your employee cares about is in one place, that their family will be looked after should anything happen to them and that they can get access to trusted advice from professionals such as accounts, solicitors and wealth managers when required. By providing this service to your employees, they will be happier and less stressed and can focus on the important things in life, such as work, spending time with their families and having more fun. A happy, stress-free employee is a productive one who can Live Life®

What are you doing about social responsibility for your employees?

Social responsibility and your employees’ mental, physical and emotional health have become big topics recently. The next generation of your employees are more holistic and care far more about their wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around them. They will look at how you respond to issues when deciding to work for you and when considering whether to leave. Ultimately, looking after your employees reduces their stress and so leads to improved productivity.

How does offering MeaVitae to my staff help my recruitment?

Recruitment is costly! Just when you think you have found the right candidate, you discover that other companies are also hunting them – you need to stand out! The products and features available through MeaVitae are unique in the marketplace and can undeniably make your company distinct from the crowd. You must want to retain your existing talent to otherwise the costs of training and all your institutional knowledge is lost to your competitors. MeaVitae helps retain staff as it is seen as a fabulous ‘perk’ which gives your employees peace of mind and is completely different from anything offered by your rivals.

3rd Party Services

Are your assets working for you?

While many of us don’t have millions in the bank everyone has some money, whether in a poor interest savings account, in multiple pension pots or in an ISA, that could be working harder for us. MeaVitae helps you realise your dreams by connecting you to trusted professionals who can work with you. They will identify your attitude to risk and then offer you tailored investment options to boost your wealth. Making the most of your assets ensures that you plan for both sunny as well as rainy days and can Live Life®

Are you planning effectively for your retirement?

It is clearly obvious that we can’t rely on the State to provide adequate funds for us to live out our old age and gone are the days of final salary pensions! As a result, many now have multiple pensions from different periods of their career. Still, we probably don’t know their worth, how the investments are performing or what we might expect to receive as income in years to come. MeaVitae believes that this is a wasted opportunity, and you should be connected with specialist wealth managers who can help you make sense of the impenetrable jargon, the arbitrary growth projections and the minefield of ever-changing legislation and tax breaks. We all need to start thinking more about our pension pots as these will probably be our primary source of income in later life, and the sooner we start, the better the chance that we will create the wealth to live out a financially healthy future.

Should I be more concerned about my health and take out insurance?

As we get older, we know that our health deteriorates but that shouldn’t stop us from enjoying life and planning for the future. MeaVitae knows you think about your life and finances and want to help you set goals so you can plan your legacy or other things such as buying that dream cottage or a new car. We help you to consider what you might do differently to increase the time you have. While we may not want to think about it, we can help connect you with trusted providers to ensure that you remain fit and that everyone is adequately provided for if required.

Do you ever have questions you want to ask a solicitor?

Are you in dispute with a builder? Has your son been caught speeding? While no one wants to consider that we might need legal advice, we all know it can happen sometimes. MeaVitae has access to a network of specialist legal professionals who can help with criminal, corporate and probate law – just become a subscriber, and we can connect you to the right people.

Do you ever have questions you want to ask an accountant or wealth manager?

Are you confused by pension rules? Do you want to find tax efficiencies in your investments? Far too many people claim to have skills in these areas and they fill a very crowded marketplace. So how do you decide who to trust? We have a network of vetted and trusted professionals with experience in a huge range of skills who can assist with these and any other finance queries you might have. Just purchase a subscription, and you can access this network whenever you want.

Do you want secure communication between you and your accountant, solicitor or wealth manager?

Email is an inherently insecure messaging system and leaks your data everywhere unless you take specific and complicated action yourself. MeaVitae believes that conversations with your account, wealth manager or solicitor should be for your and their eyes only, so we have developed a secure messaging system that allows you to share data with these 3rd parties whilst ensure that not only can the data not be leaked, it can only ever be viewed by the person or organisation that you have addressed the message to. This is achieved through our state-of-the-art hardware encryption key that proves that everyone in the communication is who they claim to be.

Planning your Legacy

What is a will?

Quite simply a will allows you to have the peace of mind that you have control over your legacy so can Live Life® now.

A will is a legal written document that, once correctly signed and witnessed according to the provisions of the 1837 Wills Act, will be accepted by a court as your final word on how and to whom you want to distribute your money, property and personal possessions after you die. It also list executors who are responsible for taking your will through a process called ‘probate’, which is when all your outstanding debts including any Inheritance Tax are paid and what is left of your estate is distributed according to the bequests recorded in your will to beneficiaries.

Why should I care about having a will?

A will is the only document accepted in law that allows you to decide how you want your belongings, money, and property to be given away after your death. So if you don’t have a will you don’t get no say in what happens – the law decides instead. A will is also the only document that can be used to explicitly list who should act as guardians to your children if both you and your partner die before your children reach the age of 18.

What can I include in my will?

Essentially you can make any provisions in your will to cover areas such as who you want to get money, receive possessions and inherit your property. Your will can name who should look after your children if you die, can create trusts to ensure your children are looked after and can ensure charities you support benefit. Your will can also include instructions to ensure that you do not die ‘intestate’ if all the other provisions in your will fail.

Why do wills need to be witnessed?

The laws governing the production of wills dates back to the Victorian era. These rules state that the will must be in writing and signed by you in the presence of two independent witnesses who are not beneficiaries (or the spouse or civil partner of beneficiaries) and must also be signed by the witnesses in your presence. These rules are designed to prevent the person creating the will from being coerced into making provisions that explicitly benefit certain people – the need for independent witnesses who can see that you are capable and are not being forced to execute your will prevents problems later. In practice, these rules mean that a hardcopy of the will must exist with ink signatures for both the person writing the will and the witnesses.

What happens if I die without a will (Intestacy)?

Dying without a will can have serious consequences for your family, friends and organisations that you care about.

Dying without a valid will leaves you in a legal state called ‘intestacy’ and means that the law decides what happens to everything you own. The ‘rules of intestacy’ are used to decide how to distribute your estate and to whom by trying to determine if there are blood relatives who can inherit your estate. If no one can be found, then your estate goes to the Crown.

The rules are formulaic and provide little flexibility – they follow a simple flowchart and are based on whether you are married or in a civil partnership and whether you have children. The rules try to distribute your estate to an individual (such as a spouse or civil partner) or group of individuals (such as siblings). If a group of individuals can be found, then the entire estate is distributed evenly amongst all members with no regard for whether you actually wanted them to inherit.

I have a will but am get married or entering a civil partnership, what happens to my will?

You may not realise it, but if you are single and have a will and then marry or enter into a civil partnership, that will become invalid, so you could die ‘intestate’ unless you create a new one. If you die intestate, your spouse or civil partner should inherit under the ‘rules of intestacy’ but other beneficiaries listed in your previous will won’t receive the gifts you had hoped.

What happens to my will if I get divorced or dissolve a civil partner?

Getting divorced or splitting from a civil partner is never pleasant or easy, but the good news is that at least it doesn’t instantly invalidate your will! The bad news is that any clauses relating to the person you are leaving are ignored when you die which could lead to problems if they are listed as, for example, the sole executor or sole beneficiary of your estate. In the former example, one of the other named beneficiaries will probably be required to act as an executor but in the latter case you could die intestate.

I cohabit with a partner but we are not married or in a civil partnership, how does that affect my legacy?

It is a shame, but the laws surrounding wills and the distribution of assets have not kept pace with the way we often live our lives today. The only way to ensure that a cohabiting partner with whom you are not married or in a civil partnership is covered is to create and leave a valid will. If you do not then the ‘rules of intestacy’ will apply and these rules do not take cohabiting partners into account even if you have children with that person.

What happens to my children if I die?

A guardian is someone you nominate to look after your children if both you and your partner die. While it is not pleasant to think about such a situation, a will is the only document used to confirm exactly who should take on this responsibility under these circumstances. Many people think that if both parents die, the children will be looked after by a sibling or grandparent but this is not necessarily true. Ultimately the courts will have to decide, based on what they believe is in the best interest of the children, who should look after them.

Are you interested in benefiting charities?

You may have a number of charitable organisations that you support and would like to make a final payment to them after you die. A will can be used as a tax-efficient way to do this because charitable donations are generally deducted from your estate before Inheritance Tax is calculated and, if you leave at least 10% of your estate to charity, you currently reduce your Inheritance Tax rate to 36%.

Can I plan for the completely unexpected in my will?

A ‘disaster’ clause also known as a ‘Default Gifts’ clause can be the final provision in your will that ensures that even if all the other wishes listed fail (e.g. the sole beneficiary listed in your will dies in the same car accident as you) then you will not die ‘intestate’ by default and you still get to decide where your estate goes even if that is only to charities of your choice.

Are you interested in lowering your Inheritance Tax bill?

Many consider Inheritance Tax to be extremely unfair, but it is one of the few taxes which can be controlled and the liability reduced with some forward planning. That planning often requires the creation of trusts either before or on your death and in the latter case, this can only happen if the provisions are included in a valid will. If you die without a will, then there is nothing you can do to mitigate your tax bill as the ‘rules of intestacy’ do not provide any provision for creating trusts or leaving money to charity, both of which can be used to lower your tax liability.

Dying without a Will

What is 'intestacy'?

‘Intestacy’ is the legal term to describe the act of dying without a valid will. It is a sad fact that, without careful planning, intestacy can happen to anyone and in any number of ways. These include simply not writing a will before you die, writing a will which for some reason is not correctly signed and witnessed, writing a will while single then subsequently marrying but not writing a new one, or having a will where none of the provisions laid out can be actioned after your death – for example where everyone mentioned has died since you wrote it. So plan ahead and then Live Life®

Does intestacy matter?

If you care what happens to the people and organisations you care about after your death, then the simple answer is yes!

Dying without a will means that what you own is distributed through a legal process called the ‘rules of intestacy’. These mean that you have absolutely no say in who gets what from your estate and inevitably some people you care about will lose out. Since it is so simple to avoid this happening it is shocking how many people still do not write even the most basic will!

Why should I care what happens to my ‘stuff’ when I'm no longer around?

The courts cannot accept ‘word of mouth’ as good enough when it comes to ensuring that your wishes are heard after you die. If you die intestate then the law decides who gets what so to ensure that a particular person gets a specific gift you must have a valid will.

The legal ‘rules of intestacy’ is a simple flowchart used to find the nearest set of relatives who will then inherit everything. If the rules distribute your estate the person or people who do ultimately inherit are under no obligation to hand over gifts as you had hoped.

What happens if I cohabit with a partner?

The ‘rules of intestacy’ have not kept up with societal changes and make no provision for anyone living with a partner to whom they are not married or in a civil partnership even if you have children together.

If you have children with a cohabiting partner then the rules pass your estate directly to the children. It would be entirely up to them to decide whether and how to look after your partner. Depending on how you own property together, it is also possible they could end up losing their home too! Worst of all, if you do not have children, then the rules try to find a full or half-blood relative to whom to pass your estate. Ultimately your estate will pass to the Crown if no one else can be found – at no point is your cohabiting partner even considered!

Inheritance Tax

What is Inheritance Tax?

Inheritance Tax is a tax, currently 40%, applied by the Government on the net value of a deceased individual’s estate (i.e. after all their debts have been settled) that exceeds a given threshold called the Nil Rate Band. The Nil Rate Band is £325,000 in 2021.

If you are passing your main residence to a direct descendant, who can include a step-child, an adopted child or a foster child as well as children and grandchildren, an additional threshold called the Residential Nil Rate Band can also apply. The Residential Nil Rate Band is £175,000 in 2021 and can be applied providing the total value of the estate doesn’t exceed £2,000,000.

Any unused portion of an individual’s Nil Rate Bands can be transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner and can be used to offset more tax when it comes time to administer their estate.

Plan and Live Life®

Why should I consider Inheritance Tax?

Simply, Inheritance Tax reduces the value of your estate leaving less for your family & friends. It can potentially mean that your final wishes laid out in your will cannot be actioned if your assets need to be sold to pay the debt. There are ways to reduce your Inheritance Tax liability and MeaVitae can help you get advice on how to achieve this once you are a member.

Did you know that Inheritance Tax must be paid before any distribution of assets?

While not everyone has to pay Inheritance Tax, HMRC needs to ensure that they get their ‘cut’ if you are liable and so require that any Inheritance Tax owed be paid before your executors can distribute your estate. This can often mean that during a highly distressing time, your family and executors must scramble around to find the money, perhaps taking out loans, to pay the tax which the Government demands exactly six months after the person dies! It is possible in some cases to pay the tax in instalments over a period of 10 years, although HMRC makes more money from your estate this way as they charge interest at the current rate of 2.6% (since April 2020) on any outstanding balance.

Can a will help reduce my Inheritance Tax liability?

Absolutely!

In fact the easiest way for most people to reduce or mitigate their Inheritance Tax bill is via clauses in their will. You can ensure that any unused Nil Rate Inheritance Tax bands are transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner.

You can leave at least 10% of your estate to charity through your will and reduce the rate of tax that you pay from 40% to 36% on the balance of your estate over the Inheritance Tax threshold. Even if you do not give away 10% to charity, you can still reduce your Inheritance Tax burden because charitable donations are generally deducted from your estate before the Inheritance Tax threshold is considered.

How can I mitigate or reduce my Inheritance Tax?

There are several practical and easy ways you can limit your exposure to Inheritance Tax by giving money away during your lifetime. These include taking advantage of your annual gift allowance, which allows you amongst other things give away £3,000 to anyone in a given year (backdated for a year if the allowance is unused in the previous year), giving gifts up to £250 a year to as many people as you like as long as you have not also given your annual gift allowance to that person, giving wedding gifts of £5000 to children, £2500 to grandchildren or £1000 to anyone else, and using your Potentially Exempt Transfer allowance often called the ‘7-year rule’ which allows you to give away any amount and if you die within the 7 year period the tax due on the amount diminishes. It is also possible to create trusts to incorporate assets which can help remove them from being counted as part of your estate.

Technology

What is authentication?

Authentication is the technical term for the process whereby an IT system determines you are who you claim to be and are entitled to access resources you are authorised to see. The technology used to authenticate someone can take many forms and includes username and password (such as on Amazon), smart card and PIN (such as your bank card), biometrics such as fingerprints (such as Apple Pay) and hardware keys such as MeaVitae uses.

Let’s be totally secure and Live Life®

What is encryption and why is it important?

Encryption is the technical term for scrambling information so that it can only be viewed by the person in possession of the correct digital decryption key. We experience encryption all the time, for example when we access our online bank accounts or use a credit card in a shop, without even knowing about it. By scrambling the data before it leaves your device, MeaVitae are offering the current ‘gold standard’ for protecting personal data, ensuring your privacy, protecting your data and ensuring MeaVitae is GDPR compliant.

What is decryption?

Decryption is the technical term for taking scrambled or encrypted data and converting it into something meaningful that you can read. The digital token used to encrypt the data is linked to the digital token which decrypts it and only the person who holds the decryption token can unscramble and see the data.

Will I be able to use MeaVitae on my web browser?

MeaVitae has been optimised to work with Google Chrome, Apple Safar and Microsoft Edge running on a modern laptop or PC.

Can I use the MeaVitae encryption key on mobile devices?

Our encryption key come with a USB-C connector for use with modern laptops and PCs and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for connecting to mobile devices.

You can use the key with Apple devices that support NFC once the key has been registered via a laptop or PC but unfortunately it cannot be used on Android devices.

Many high-end mobile devices can support NFC reading, but several popular devices do not. For example, only iPhone 7 or later running iOS 11 or above allow NFC reading and no iPads currently support NFC reading without additional hardware technology. Please check with your product documentation whether your device supports NFC reading if you intend to use MeaVitae on a mobile device.