Ever since Andrew Dilnot produced his report on
funding old age, anyone connected with the provision of care and
the finances of older people have held their breath waiting for the
government response. Unfortunately, when it did come, it was
underwhelming to say the least and many people expressed
frustration that the issue seemed no closer to being resolved.
Short of making a decisive statement, the
government has committed only to addressing the issue before the
end of this parliament in 2015.
An announcement to mollify critics and to
allow themselves more time was that of the extension of the
existing local authority loans scheme which are raised against the
value of a property and used to pay for long term care. This has
obvious ramifications for the equity release market as it raises
the issue of paying off loans using your housing wealth.
If this goes ahead it will help to 'normalise'
one of the central tenets of equity release - unlocking the wealth
people have built in their property while they are still around to
benefit from it. Existing equity release schemes can be used to
fund a whole range of expenses, including the cost of care, and
this will hopefully help equity release become accepted as a
standard part of retirement planning.
However, it is important that people always
receive expert advice on any form of equity release scheme. The
equity release industry has built up a network of specialist
providers, intermediaries and solicitors to help people make what
is a major decision that needs careful consideration. It is
important that such a network of advice is available for the
council loan scheme and that people make informed choices on
something that is so important.
Read all our roles and our responsibilities
- We will communicate in plain English, not legal jargon.
- Clients will receive fair and balanced reports in writing.
- Clients will receive a personal consultation with a suitably
qualified member of legal staff.