How much is released by such schemes depends upon the value of the property and the age of the owner and is governed by actuarial criteria. The amount released therefore does not compare with a full sale value, but then other considerations relating the need to live in the house are also to be borne in mind.

Alternatives to such schemes could include selling and buying a smaller and less expensive property or selling and moving into a rental property.

Considerations over how the capital released may affect long term care liabilities do need to be borne in mind though, as does the possibility of causing upset to those who hope to inherit but who may find that all capital is taken up by loan repayment and interest repayments.

Equity release is on the surface a straightforward matter but once questions are posed more complexity in the whole scheme becomes evident. It is right for some people: it is not right for others.

At Franklins we are happy to advise clients in relation to the issues and to act on their behalf in conducting such a transaction but would first seek to ensure that any scheme considered is subject to a full open market appraisal. This would be coupled with a full family review to ensure everyone was entirely happy with the potential outcomes. We refer all such queries to an independent adviser to assist and provide the open market comparisons; there are a lot of alternatives on the market and it is very confusing indeed.

If you are interested in finding out more please contact our Bespoke & Commercial Property department on 01908 660966 or 01604 828282, quoting "Equity Release" and we will be pleased to offer advice and see if we can help.

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