Talking to your family about equity release

Equity release is a way of unlocking cash from the value of your home without having to move. You can do it if you’re 55 or over, and it’s a long-term loan that’ll eventually be repaid using money from the sale of your home once you’ve passed away or gone into long-term care.

The type of equity release we offer is called a lifetime mortgage.

If you’re thinking about releasing equity from your home, there’s a lot to consider. And because it’s a big decision, it’s a good idea to have a chat with your family first. If you die or go into long-term care, your lifetime mortgage will need to be repaid, so it’s helpful if the people you love understand the reasons behind your decision.

Will I be able to leave an inheritance behind?

Releasing equity from your home by taking out a lifetime mortgage will always reduce the amount of money you’ll leave behind. But if you want to, you can save a percentage of your home’s sale price to leave as an inheritance. We call this an inheritance guarantee, and it means a percentage of the sale price will be paid to you or someone you love if you go into long-term care, or paid to your estate when you die.1

Once your home has been sold for the best market price, the inheritance will be paid out. All you have to do is tell us the percentage of your property value that you want to guarantee. You’ll need to do this when you apply for your lifetime mortgage, as you won’t be able to add it later.

If you choose to have an inheritance guarantee, it’ll reduce the amount of money you can borrow. If you want to know more about how this is calculated, it’s a good idea to speak to your financial adviser or contact us. An inheritance guarantee could also affect the interest rate on your lifetime mortgage.

It’s important to note that we won’t be able to apply your inheritance guarantee if you don’t stick to the terms and conditions of your lifetime mortgage, or if you decide to repay your lifetime mortgage early.

Is equity release for me?

If you’re considering equity release, it’s a good idea to talk to a financial adviser about it first. They’ll be able to look at your overall financial situation and talk through the pros and cons of equity release for you specifically, as well as answering any questions you might have.

It’s important to know that equity release doesn’t suit everyone, so your adviser will be able to tell you if it’s right for you or not.

Once you know all the pros and cons for your particular situation, you should talk them through with your family, so all of you understand how a lifetime mortgage works. It’s a big decision that’ll impact them too, so it’s useful for everyone to be on the same page.

If you don't already have a financial adviser, give us a call on 0800 092 7903. Your call will be answered by one of the financial advice firms we’ve handpicked to give you all the information and advice you’ll need about our lifetime mortgage.

You can also choose your own independent financial adviser if you want to, and they’ll be able to help you decide whether or not you want to apply for a lifetime mortgage. 

Will my family inherit debt?

If you’re taking out an equity release product, it’s a good idea to check if your provider is part of the Equity Release council first. If they’re a member, they’ll need to provide a ‘no negative equity’ guarantee, which protects your family or loved ones and can make sure they won’t inherit any debt at all. If your provider isn’t a member, you might not get a guarantee.

It’s also important to remember that your family might have been expecting an inheritance. When you die and your house is sold, it might be enough to pay off the loan but without much left over, and this might be disappointing for your family.

Saying yes to equity release is a big decision, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide if you think it’s right for you.

You can do it on your own

If you’d rather make a decision without talking to your family, that’s fine too. It’s your home, so it’s up to you – but you’ll need to get in touch with a financial adviser so you can get an independent opinion.  

Find out even more about equity release

Have a look through our guide

If you need a few more details, here’s our quick and easy guide to equity release

Download our guide

Let’s have a chat about equity release

Give us a call to find out if you're eligible for equity release or to book an appointment
0800 092 7903

Your call will be answered by a financial advice firm that has been specially selected to provide information and advice on Aviva’s lifetime mortgages. They are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Calls will be answered Mon – Fri, between 9:00am – 8:00pm and Sat, between 10:am - 5:00pm. Lines are closed on Sundays and Bank holidays.