Equity Release Schemes
What are they?
Equity Release Schemes allow homeowners to ‘release’ cash from the value of their property as income, a lump sum or as a mixture of both. They typically come in two varieties: home income plans and home reversion schemes. Individuals are often advised by financial professionals to consider equity release schemes as a way of generating cash from their homes as an alternative to selling or downsizing their family home(s).
Over the years the financial services people have come up with a number of equity release schemes to enable people to generate cash from their homes while continuing to live there. We specialise in dealing with the legal documentation involved in transactions relating to equity release schemes.
How we can help...
We always advise our clients to seek independent financial advice before deciding on a particular equity release scheme. Once you have done that, our role is twofold. The lender will require a solicitor to certify that the potential borrower has good legal title to the property. We therefore carry out the usual conveyancing searches and attempt to satisfy any queries that the lender raises in relation to your title to the property.
Just as importantly in our view, we will give you detailed advice on the merits or otherwise of the scheme and on the conditions of the financial institution’s offer. If, after you are aware of the disadvantages, you decide not to go ahead, we will consider that we have performed a valuable service. Committing yourself to an equity release scheme is a major decision and we attempt to ensure that our clients do not go ahead unless they are fully aware of all the implications.
There are many forms of equity release scheme on the market. Equity release schemes are not right for everyone, but in the right circumstances they can make all the difference to a person’s quality of life, while in many cases preserving a reasonable proportion of the house to pass on.
In the right circumstances, schemes such as those described above can be of great benefit, but no one should even contemplate entering into one without first obtaining independent professional advice.