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Author: Carl Shave-Director
Updated on January 30th, 2024

What should my family know about Equity Release?

It’s likely those of you looking into Equity Release will have families who care deeply about your situation and have genuine concerns for your future care and wellbeing. It’s a good idea to let them know what you are planning, so they don’t feel you have tried to hide anything from them and they can also plan what they might need to do for you over the coming years.

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Why is it a good idea to include my family in my Equity Release decision?

Sometimes, family members will have worries about the outcomes of an Equity Release scheme. They might be concerned that your estate will be entirely swallowed up by the accumulated interest on the loan, that interest rates are too high or the advisor might not behave in an ethical way.

Most of these worries have no foundation. Equity Release is a clear financial decision to use a professional, commercial service in a well-regulated industry. Below are a few things that your family members might need to know when you are applying for Equity Release or please contact our team for more information.

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Reasons for applying for Equity Release

Equity Release is literally a life-changer for many of the people who apply for it.

  • They may have problems with mobility and household tasks that can only be solved by installing equipment like a stairlift or adjustable furniture, and using some of the value tied into the house is the only way to pay for it.
  • Or perhaps the home they have lived for decades is now in a very poor condition, in need of much-needed maintenance and repairs, the costs of which will be beyond any savings they might have remaining after day-to-day expenses.
  • Or maybe they’re simply tired of a lower standard of living on a small income after a lifetime of hard work, and their house is now worth much more than they could ever have imagined when they bought it. Why not benefit?

All these and more are perfectly valid reasons for taking out Equity Release on your property. It’s all down to transforming your life and self-esteem, and having the ability to pay for it. With proper budgeting and planning, Equity Release is a completely practical solution.

Will my estate get completely eaten up by Equity Release?

Many years ago, in the early days of Equity Release products, there were some cases where the ‘rolled-up’ interest on the loan accrued so much that the final amount due to the provider exceeded the actual value of the property. This led to very upsetting situations where lenders were asking family members to cover the shortfall.

We are very happy to say that this no longer happens. Equity Release Council guidelines state that advisers must always recommend ‘no negative equity’ deals, and we have seen that products without this clause have now disappeared from the market.

We always look for schemes where nobody loses out. We can find Equity Release schemes that will take care of your needs and ambitions in later life, while still ring-fencing an amount to leave to the ones you love.

Are Equity Release advisers ethical professionals?

The industry is a lot better regulated than it once was, and an honest broker will never take advantage of a vulnerable individual or couple.

If your family still have concerns, they are welcome to sit in on our meetings, and we promise to answer any questions they may have. We are willing to work around their commitments, or we can answer any queries over the phone. If a broker does not offer this kind of service, it is probably best to steer clear.

The Equity Release council also lays down standards for the industry to protect your right to remain in your home, your right to move, to ensure interest rates are fixed and also that your estate will never go into negative equity.

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Equity Release is an important decision

Your family must understand that you won’t have entered into this lightly, and that you are taking independent financial advice. You will be informed of the pros and cons of your options, and the risks involved with Equity Release in general.

If everyone has an open conversation about all the issues, then your family will appreciate your reasons for doing it, as well as being kept informed. Who knows, once they understand your needs, they may even have suggestions for alternative options to help you.

With everyone involved, we know we can find a solution that satisfies all the family.

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