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9 questions to ask equity release advisers

Releasing equity from your home is a big financial decision. Talking things over with friends and family helps, but independent equity release advisers are the people who can best assess your options. Here are 9 questions to ask yours before opting for equity release.

man and wife speaking with an independent expert adviser in their home

1. How much will I have to pay?

Clarifying costs up front helps avoid any nasty surprises later, and means you can compare rates for different equity release advisers. They should tell you about any set-up costs, arrangement fees and legal fees involved – as well as their own fees – if you decide to take out an equity release plan.

Talk to us about your eligibility today on 0800 633 5566 and we’ll put you in touch with equity release advisers who’ll be happy to chat through everything you need to know.

2. Are you a member of the Equity Release Council?

The Equity Release Council provides guidelines for advisers, designed to protect customers like you. The Council only accepts fully qualified equity release advisers, so membership means you’re getting advice you can trust.

Because the equity release providers you’ll be able to pick from through SunLife’s Over 55 Equity Release service are Council members, you’ll also get a ‘no negative equity guarantee’ with any lifetime mortgage, meaning you’ll never owe more than the value of your home.

3. Are the Equity Release providers you work with regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority?

Whatever you may have heard about equity release in the past, all equity release schemes are now fully regulated and supervised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – providing protection and peace of mind for equity release customers since 2004.

4. Are you an independent equity release adviser?

Independent Equity Release advisers, such as Age Partnership, are impartial, with the whole market to choose from. This is just what you want when seeking the right advice about a big financial decision like equity release.

For commitment-free, impartial advice, call 0800 633 5566 today or request a call back.

5. What are the potential pitfalls of equity release?

Qualified equity release advisers will be able to clearly explain not just the advantages, but also the disadvantages of an equity release plan – like the potential impact on your entitlement to state benefits, or how equity release will reduce the value of your estate.

6. Can you advise on all types of equity release?

There are two main kinds of equity release plan – lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans. Equity release products are evolving and innovating all the time, so you want an equity release adviser who knows their stuff and can advise you on all your options.

7. What does your advice process look like?

You want to discuss all your options and feel no obligation to proceed. Based on a (usually free) initial consultation, good equity release advisers will come back to you with their findings and personalised recommendations – helping you make a fully informed decision.

Our advice process always begins with a free consultation with an equity release adviser. Call 0800 633 5566 today or request a call back to start the ball rolling.

8. What if equity release isn’t for me?

FCA-regulated equity release advisers are trained to discuss every option with you – that includes not going with equity release if they don’t feel it’s the right way to go. Be sure to discuss alternatives with your adviser, which may mean delaying equity release for a while until it works better for your circumstances.

9. What makes you the right equity release adviser for me?

You want an adviser with expert knowledge and experience of dealing with people in your situation. You need confidence they’re working with your best interests in mind and will be on hand to offer helpful advice at every step of your equity release journey.

At SunLife, we specialise in helping people over 50 – and we’ve learned to cut the fluff and jargon and just focus on what works best for our customers.

When you call the SunLife Over 55 Equity Release service, we will talk you through an eligibility check to see if equity release might be right for you.

If this seems to be the case, we will pass you over to equity release advisers who work for our chosen partner, Age Partnership.

The equity release advisers you’ll speak to have specialist experience dealing with people similar to you – and can provide personal, impartial advice tailored to meet your specific needs.

Whenever you’re ready, we’re here for you

For more information and to check your eligibility, call The SunLife Over 55 Equity Release Service today on 0800 633 5566 or request a call back.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife? 

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Phoenix Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 110418). As part of SunLife’s commitment to quality service and security, telephone calls may be recorded.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

The funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Ltd which is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.