Blog > Involving family in equity release

Involving family in equity release

mature happy couple

By Richard Groom • 7th June 2023 • 6 min read

Can I involve my family in my equity release decision?

Choosing whether to take out an equity release plan is a big decision, and one that could have implications for your family. That’s why you may find it important to involve your loved ones in the process.

In our guide to involving family in equity release decision-making, we cover the following:

After you have read our guide to involving family in equity release, you’re welcome to call us on 0808 178 3055, or request a call back and we’ll be happy to help further. Our selected advisers can advise on your eligibility for equity release and will of course be happy to involve your family in the process.

How does equity release work?

Equity release is aimed at homeowners aged 55+ who want to unlock some of their property wealth without having to sell up and move home. There are other ways to release equity if you are under 55.

The most popular form of equity release is a lifetime mortgage. This involves releasing some of your home’s value as a secured loan. You still retain ownership of your property and have the same right to live there as before. 

The loan plus interest is typically paid back through the sale of your home when you pass away or move into permanent long-term care. You may be able to repay it sooner however, although this may involve early repayment charges. 

Find out what’s possible for you: get a free quote, see How does equity release work?, talk to one of our friendly consultants by calling 0808 178 3055 or request a call back.

Why might you consider involving family in equity release discussions?

When you are considering equity release you will want to make the right decision for you, based on your circumstances and needs. You may also want to consider the potential impact on your family and factor their situation into the decision.

In both of these circumstances, involving family members in your decision could be important. It can help ensure that you make the right decision about whether to meet your financial needs through equity release. 

For example, sometimes a family member might raise a question that you might not have thought about. There are a lot of aspects to equity release, and having someone to support you might mean they raise something you may have missed.

What specifically might you discuss with your family?

Let’s look now at some specific aspects of equity release that you might want to discuss with your family:

Your other options

An important part of the equity release process is looking at whether other ways to raise the money you need are available. Equity release can be an expensive way to borrow money, so another option to access funds may work out better.

Along with your equity release adviser, family members may be able to identify ways to raise money to meet your needs that you may initially feel are not possible.

For example, your family may be able to lend or gift you the money you need. They might be able to help you remortgage or downsize to a less valuable property in order to release equity. Or if you need the money for home improvements, they may be willing to cover the cost in anticipation of inheriting the property when you pass away.

These are just examples, and we are in no way recommending any particular alternatives to equity release. But they do illustrate that alternatives are sometimes possible, and your family may be able to identify another way to access the cash you need.

The protections that come with equity release

Your family may initially be sceptical about equity release. They may have read about the ‘equity release horror stories’ of the 1980s before strict rules and guarantees were implemented.

We would suggest taking a look with them at the consumer protections now in place for homeowners taking out equity release from providers who are members of the Equity Release Council. 

Read more: What guarantees do you get with equity release?

Issues around their inheritance

Although it’s true that taking out an equity release plan will reduce how much you leave to your loved ones, there are ways to protect some of their property-related inheritance:

  • Some plans have the option of inheritance protection where some of the value of your home is ring fenced for your loved ones. Taking this option will reduce the amount you can borrow.
  • All plans from Equity Release Council members come with the ‘no negative equity guarantee’. This ensures that the amount owed at the end of the plan will not exceed the value of your home, so your family won’t inherit any debt.

Alternatively, you and your loved ones may instead decide that maximising their inheritance isn’t important. For example, they may instead encourage you to unlock some of your property wealth to enjoy a more comfortable retirement. Alternatively, you may prefer them to have some money now when they need it rather than wait to leave them an inheritance.

You may feel that having open and frank discussions about these inheritance matters with your family is a good way to decide collectively what’s best for them and you. Our article on equity release and inheritance may also help.

Addressing potential problems for family you live with

If you take out a joint plan with your spouse or partner, when one of you dies or goes into long-term care, the other can continue to live in your home. 

But things are different for other people who may live with you, such as a child or carer. In most circumstances, once you or both you and your spouse/partner have passed away or moved into long-term care, anyone else living with you will not be able to stay in the property.

It is therefore important that anyone living with you is aware of the situation. In fact, equity release providers may require them to confirm in writing that they will move out in these circumstances.

When should I talk to my family about equity release?

Some people suggest talking to an equity release adviser first to get confirmation of whether you are eligible and, if so, how much you could release. They will be able to explain the pros and cons of equity release as a solution to meet your unique financial needs. An adviser will also be able to talk through potential alternatives to equity release. 

After talking to an adviser you may feel better able to talk to your family about your situation, the reasons you are considering equity release and so on.

Alternatively of course, you may want to talk to your family first. This might for example give them an opportunity to suggest alternatives without the need to make enquiries with an adviser.

It is of course your decision and no doubt you will base it on a number of factors. These might include the nature of your relationship with your family and your confidence in dealing with financial matters.

Can relatives attend equity release appointments?

Yes, they can. For example, our selected equity release advisers will be more than happy for your relatives to be involved every step of the way. The same will be true of the equity release solicitor you’ll need to appoint to handle the legal aspects of the process.

Do I have to involve my family?

You aren’t required to involve your family in your decision about equity release, apart from anyone who jointly owns your property with you. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether equity release is suitable for you, although you will need to seek professional advice before taking out a plan.

Helping you and your family make the right decision.

We hope this article has answered some of your questions about equity release and how families can get involved in the process. 

Our selected advisers are also available to discuss your circumstances and offer further information and advice. Just call us on 0808 178 3055 or request a call back and we’ll arrange a no-obligation appointment for you. 

About Richard Groom. A writer with 20+ years’ experience across several sectors including financial services, Richard has a passion for writing clear and simple content on even the most complex of subjects. In his spare time, Richard loves exploring the hills and mountains of the UK on long walks with his faithful cocker spaniel. Follow Richard on LinkedIn

How can we help?

To find out more about equity release or arrange a consultation with an adviser, please call or request a call back and we’ll be happy to help further.

Let’s talk

Let us help with your questions or arrange a quote.

Call 0808 178 3055

Request a call back

Book a call at a time that suits you and we’ll call you back.

Request a call back

Are you eligible?

Find out how much tax-free cash you could release.

Check now

Apply for your no-obligation equity release quote

Find out if you qualify for equity release and how much you could borrow. Just click ‘Get started’ or call us on 0808 178 3055 and one of our team will be delighted to help arrange a free consultation and quote*.

Start your quote journey icon

1. Start your quote journey

Simply click ‘Get started’ to begin your search for the best plan for your circumstances.

Tell us what you need icon

2. Tell us what you need

Fill out some simple details about your situation so we can start to prepare your quote.

Compare your best deals icon

3. Compare your best deals

You’ll get personalised quotes tailored to your unique circumstances and goals.

Related blogs

Read more about equity release and other consumer finance matters.

mature woman checking rates

19th April 2023 | 5 min read

happy mature couple

7th April 2023 | 8 min read

mature couple with pc and phone

17th April 2023 | 7 min read

leeds uk view

6th June 2023 | 5 min read