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faqs

There are usually certain conditions that people taking out equity release plans must meet.

Will I qualify?

How much should I release?

Who should I speak to?

What happens if I die or move into long term care?

Can Equity Release affect my state benefits?

Equity Release can affect certain means tested benefits such as pension credit, savings credit & council tax benefit. It’s therefore important that we fully understand your personal circumstances. Our duty of care is to fully explain any potential implications to you, before proceeding.

What are the fees?

We charge no fee for your initial consultation. Our advice fee if you proceed is covered in our initial disclosure document.Additionally, lenders may charge you a valuation fee, an application fee & finally you will need to cover the cost of your own legal fees. Some of these costs may be refunded on special deals we negotiate.

Can I still move house?

Equity release council members plans allow you to move to another property as long as it meets the providers lending criteria. This will be dependent on the property value & each case will be considered on an individual basis. Also, from experience some people have used lifetime mortgages to move to a more expensive property, such as a bungalow for mobility reasons.

Will I have to pay tax?

The lump sum you receive is tax free. If you invest the cash to provide an income, part or all of the income, or growth on investments may become taxable. If you are gifting monies, then you will need to contact us, as this can have implications on your estate planning.

Can someone else live in the house?

Yes. A spouse or partner who is jointly named on the plan will continue to live in the property even after you pass away or move into long term care. However, anyone living in the property who is not party to the plan will need to sign a waiver of occupation rights. This means that, in the event of death or moving into long term care of the named plan holder, they will need to vacate the property to allow the sale and repayment of the outstanding loan.

What about my credit history?

Equity Release is not dependent upon repayment ability; hence a good credit history is not essential. Nevertheless, this will be dependent upon the gravity of the adverse credit & given our experience we can place your case accordingly.

What if I pay off the Equity Release early?

Equity Release schemes are designed to only be paid back if you move into care or on when you die. This means that if the scheme is repaid in full during its term, then an early repayment charge may arise. This will be dependent on the provider.

How much will my beneficiaries receive?

This depends on the type of Equity Release selected. If you choose a home reversion scheme then your beneficiaries will receive a guaranteed percentage of the final sale price of the property. With a lifetime mortgage there are two factors that affect this. As interest is rolled up during your lifetime, the final balance is determined by how long you live.

Secondly, the property’s final value is important. Therefore, on repayment your beneficiaries will receive the eventual sale price, less the balance of the lifetime mortgage. This could reduce, possibly to nothing, if your house value does not increase sufficiently. However, under Equity Release Council rules you are guaranteed not to leave a debt to your beneficiaries due to inclusion of the no negative equity guarantee.

If I have an existing Equity Release, can I borrow more?

Possibly. This will depend on your scheme & how your balance & property value has increased since inception. We will ascertain whether it is best to top-up your existing scheme or transfer to a new provider.

This may be to release further funds or even achieve a lower interest rate than your previous scheme, if it was taken out many years ago. This advice can potentially save thousands of pounds for your estate over the long term.

Why is it important I obtain Independent advice?

We recognize this is an important decision for yourself and your beneficiaries. Therefore, it is essential that your situation is evaluated and the best product sourced for you. One of our Independent Equity Release Adviser’s will research the whole of the market and advise on any scheme in the marketplace.

What is an enhanced or impaired Equity Release scheme?

Similar to lifetime annuities, certain Equity Release schemes will now take into account the state of health of the applicant. Therefore should a history of poor health be in evidence, then a larger than the standard Equity Release loan will be made. This is due to the fact that underwriters will assess the potential life expectancy based on mortality rates and health and make a judgement call upon this data.

Who owns my property?

With a lifetime mortgage you will retain full ownership of the property. However, with a home reversion scheme you will no longer fully own the property. Nevertheless, you will have the right to remain in the property, usually rent free, for the rest of your life.
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