How will Equity Release affect my Family?
Equity release is a big decision, and there are obvious family issues to consider before you proceed with any plan. Whatever you decide will not only affect your life but theirs too! We always advise holding a family discussion to ensure that everyone who may be involved is aware of the implications with regards to your living situation, the family home and inheritance matters.
Many of our enquiries emanate from family members encouraging grandparents and parents to use their asset of the property to provide for a more comfortable retirement, whether it’s for debt consolidation, home improvements, income or so-called ‘luxuries’ like cars and holidays.
If there is no family, we would recommend a close personal friend or trusted neighbour be involved, particularly if the person is on their own.
What are the alternatives to Equity Release?
Is equity release right for you? Before you say ‘yes’, it’s a good idea to review all the options on the table to help you raise the funds you need. You may have other savings or investments you could draw on. You may have rental income from a second property. You may wish to continue working, perhaps on a part-time basis. You may be able to rent out a spare room. It’s important to look at all the possibilities, including equity release, to help you establish the best course of action for your personal circumstances.
One of the most obvious alternatives to equity release is to sell your current home and downsize to a smaller, easily maintainable and cheaper property, making the net proceeds available for you to spend. Do make sure you carefully consider the personal and social impact of moving away from your family and friends, if downsizing means leaving the area. Here are 4 key questions you should be asking. There is also the cost of moving to consider – estate agent fees, removal costs, stamp duty – which can eat into your net proceeds.
What is the Equity Release process and how long does it take?
As financial advisers specialising in equity release, we start with getting to know you as a client. This involves an initial appointment to introduce John Whyte as an independent adviser, who The Right Equity Release are and outline our service and how we are remunerated (we do not charge any upfront fees so meetings are free and without obligation).
What follows is a discussion and fact-finding session about your personal and financial circumstances followed by a generic overview of what equity release is and how this may meet your needs, answering any questions you may have at this stage. We then research the market fully and make a client specific recommendation based on the information we have. This also includes a benefits check to ensure you are receiving any benefit entitlement, typically pension or savings credit, and the impact equity release may have on this. A second appointment would then be arranged for us to present our recommendations and, if acceptable, complete an application.
From the point of application to completion, the average time is 5-6 weeks for a standard case. However, if there are unregistered properties, transfers of ownership (i.e. sole to joint names) or managing agent’s enquiries (leasehold properties) to deal with, it can take longer.
Get in touch
For a free, no obligation, initial discussion to start exploring your options and the support we can give you when choosing the right scheme for you and your family, please get in touch. John Whyte works across South East England, travelling across Brighton, Sussex, London and further afield, always happy to meet clients and explain all the options available in person.