The answer to this question lies with the type of equity release mortgage has been recommended. For instance with lifetime mortgage, drawdown lifetime mortgage, enhanced lifetime mortgage and interest only lifetime mortgage schemes you will retain 100% ownership of the title to the property.
In these cases the lender, like any residential mortgage lender they will merely place a first legal charge on the property. This protects the equity release provider, in that once the property is sold on death or moving into long term care, the lifetime mortgage provider will have first call on any of the sale proceeds.
However, a different set of rules apply for a home reversion plans.
Due to the mechanics of these schemes, effectively you will only own a fixed percentage of your property. The reason being in that in exchange for the tax free lump sum you require, a portion of the property ownership is transferred to the home reversion company. Therefore, should the provider require 40% ownership in exchange for the tax free lump sum, then you will retain 60% ownership which is guaranteed for your heirs once the house is sold.
All of these plans, however, allow you to remain in your property until you and your partner pass away or move into long term care.
Equity release schemes are vehicles that enable you to release tax free cash that is locked up within your property, which once received can then be spent as you wish. The various UK equity release plans currently available include both lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans. The lifetime mortgage market can be sub-divided into: –
- Drawdown Lifetime Mortgage
– Roll-up equity release scheme where you are provided with an overall cash reserve facility, but you take only a portion of this initially. Interest is only charged on the money actually withdrawn. Further funds can be taken from the reserve facility at short notice, with no further valuation or set up fees required. Currently the most popular form of equity release scheme.
- Interest Only Lifetime Mortgage
– Rather than interest rolling up & compounding, an interest only lifetime mortgages plan allows you to repay the interest charged. This protects the equity in the property for your beneficiaries & maintains a level balance.
- Enhanced Lifetime Mortgage
– A recent innovation whereby upon calculating the maximum equity release possible, certain lenders will take into account medical history as a factor. Should ill-health have proven to have existed, then an enhanced lump sum can be offered by the equity release provider. This will usually be much higher than the normal maximum equity release lump sum available.
An equity release adviser should always be sourced in order to explain all the available equity release plans in full to help you decide which is best suited to your individual circumstances.