How Can You Tell if You’re in Safe Hands When Taking Out Equity Release?

27 December 2018 • Equity release insights

Look for the Equity Release Council logo

The Equity Release Council was set up to look after older people taking out equity release schemes and to promote honest, ethical equity release plans. Advisers who are members of the Equity Release Council have to abide by a strict Code of Conduct, requiring them to act ethically and to the highest standards.

Plans that are offered by Equity Release Council members have to come with certain guarantees to protect the home owner. The first, known as a no negative equity guarantee’, means that you or your heirs will never owe more than the value of the property. The second is that you will never be turned out of your home, as long as you keep to the terms of your agreement with the lender.

If you see the Equity Release Council logo, you have assurance that the adviser or lender is bound to look out for your interests.

Take along a family member or friend

There’s a lot to consider when thinking about an over 55 equity release scheme. That’s why we always recommend that you have a family member or friend with you when you meet your adviser. They might well pick up on something you missed and you can also talk through your options with them in private afterwards – they will have your best interests at heart and will be keen to help you reach the best decision for you.

It’s also especially important to think abut involving anyone who might be affected by your decision to take out an over 55 equity release scheme, such as the beneficiaries names in your Will, as the estate you leave behind is likely to be reduced; having their support can reduce friction at a later date.

Get independent legal advice

It’s really important to appoint your own, independent solicitor to act on your behalf throughout the process and ensure that you fully understand it at every stage – just as you would if buying a house. We are happy to refer our clients to trusted, solicitors.

Taking out an over 55 equity release scheme is an important decision, so it is vital to find an adviser you can trust and to have the right support to help you make the best decision for you. Following our steps will help give you peace of mind – so you can have confidence in your decision and enjoy your retirement.

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