Can You Release Equity on an Inherited House?

Inheriting a property can be both a blessing and a financial opportunity. For many, the question arises: can you release equity on an inherited house?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the process of releasing equity on an inherited property in the UK.

From understanding the legal and financial implications to exploring the options available, we’ll provide valuable insights to help you make informed decisions about unlocking the potential value of an inherited house.

Can You Release Equity on an Inherited House?

Yes, it is possible to release equity on an inherited house in the UK. However, the process may vary depending on various factors, including the property’s value, existing mortgage arrangements, and the beneficiaries’ financial circumstances.

Releasing equity on an inherited property involves accessing the value of the property without selling it outright, allowing beneficiaries to unlock funds for various purposes.

What is an Inherited Property?

Inheriting a house usually occurs when the property owner passes away, leaving the property as part of their estate. The inheritance process begins with distributing the deceased’s assets according to their will or intestacy laws if there is no will.

Inherited properties may include houses, flats, land, or commercial buildings, and the transfer of ownership typically involves legal procedures such as probate.

Deceased Will

A will is a legal document that outlines how the deceased’s assets, including property, should be distributed after their passing. It may also name an executor responsible for managing the estate and ensuring the distribution of assets according to the will.

Intestacy Laws

If there is no valid will in place, inheritance laws, known as intestacy laws, determine how the deceased’s assets, including property, will be distributed. In these cases, the distribution is usually based on blood relation and may not align with the deceased’s wishes.

Options for Releasing Equity on an Inherited House

The process of releasing equity on an inherited property involves obtaining a loan or selling a share of the property’s value to access funds. This can be done through three main methods:



If there is an existing mortgage on the inherited property, it may be possible to remortgage the property for a higher amount and release some equity.

This allows beneficiaries to access funds based on the property’s equity, subject to lender criteria and affordability assessments.

Remortgaging can be a flexible option for releasing equity and providing access to funds for various purposes, such as home improvements, debt consolidation, or investment opportunities.

However, remortgaging may not be possible for some beneficiaries, especially if they do not have a regular income or have a poor credit history. The terms and interest rates of the new mortgage may also vary depending on the individual’s financial situation.

Equity Release

Equity release schemes allow beneficiaries to access a lump sum or regular income by borrowing against the value of the inherited property.

These schemes are specifically designed for older homeowners and do not require monthly repayments. Instead, the loan amount is usually repaid when the property is sold after the homeowner’s passing.

There are two main types of equity release schemes: lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans.

Lifetime mortgages, the most common form of equity release, allow homeowners to borrow against the value of their property, with interest accruing over time and repaid upon death or moving into long-term care.

Home reversion plans involve selling a portion of the property to a provider in exchange for a lump sum or regular income, with the remainder owned outright.

Before considering an equity release scheme, seeking independent financial advice and carefully considering the long-term implications is essential.

Sale of the Property

Can I Rent My House Out on a Normal Mortgage

The most straightforward way to release equity on an inherited house is by selling it and using the funds for other purposes. This option may be preferable in cases where the property requires significant repairs or renovations, and the owner does not want to take on additional debt through remortgaging or equity release.

Selling the inherited property outright allows beneficiaries to access the property’s full value, minus any outstanding debts, taxes, or fees. Proceeds from the sale can then be used for various purposes, such as investing in other assets, paying off debts, or funding lifestyle expenses.

Selling the property can provide beneficiaries with a lump sum of cash to meet immediate financial needs or pursue other investment opportunities.

However, beneficiaries should consider the costs and time involved in selling a property, including estate agent fees, legal fees, property valuation fees, and potential delays in finding a buyer.

Additionally, selling the property means relinquishing ownership and any potential future appreciation in property value. It’s essential to carefully consider the implications of selling an inherited property, as it may hold sentimental value or have been in the family for generations.

How Do You Release Equity on an Inherited House?

Releasing equity on an inherited house involves several steps and considerations:

  1. Determine the property’s current value: Before deciding on a course of action, it’s crucial to understand how much equity is available in the inherited house. This can be done through a professional property valuation or by researching similar properties in the area.
  2. Consider any outstanding debts or taxes: If there are any outstanding mortgages, loans, or taxes on the inherited property, these will need to be paid off before any equity can be released.
  3. Understand the different options for releasing equity: There are various methods for releasing equity on an inherited house, including remortgaging or taking out a home equity release loan.
  4. Consult with a financial advisor: Discussing your specific situation with a financial advisor can help you understand all of the options available and make an informed decision.
  5. Be aware of potential costs and fees: It’s essential to carefully consider the costs involved in releasing equity, such as arrangement fees, legal fees, and interest rates.

Legal Implications of Releasing Equity on an Inherited Property

Before considering releasing equity on an inherited property, it’s essential to understand the legal implications involved. These include:


As a beneficiary of an inherited property, you may not have full ownership rights until the property is officially transferred to your name. This process can take time and may involve legal documents such as a will, probate, or letters of administration.

Inheritance tax

Depending on the value of the inherited property and your relationship to the deceased, you may be liable for inheritance tax. Understanding the tax laws in your country or region is crucial and seeking professional advice if necessary.

Capital gains tax

If you decide to sell the inherited property, you may be subject to capital gains tax. This is a tax on the profit made from selling an asset, and it’s essential to calculate this before making any decisions.

Legal disputes

In some cases, there may be legal disputes over the inheritance of a property, such as if there are multiple beneficiaries or if the deceased did not leave a clear will. These disputes can delay the transfer of ownership or even lead to court proceedings.

Inheritance laws

Each country or region has its own set of inheritance laws that dictate how an inherited property is distributed among beneficiaries. It’s crucial to understand these laws to avoid any legal complications.

Other considerations

It’s also essential to consider factors such as existing mortgages, liens, or other financial obligations on the inherited property before releasing equity. These can affect the amount of equity available and may require legal action to resolve.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What if the property already has a mortgage on it?

In most cases, the mortgage will need to be paid off before the property can be transferred to your name. This process can involve refinancing or obtaining a new loan, and discussing this with a financial advisor is essential.

2. What happens if there are multiple beneficiaries?

If there are multiple beneficiaries, the inherited property may need to be sold, and the proceeds may be divided between them. In some cases, co-ownership may also be an option. Discussing the best course of action with all parties is important.

3. What if I don’t want to keep the property?

You have several options if you do not wish to keep the inherited property. You can sell it, gift it to another family member, or donate it to charity. However, it’s crucial to consider any tax implications and potential legal complications before deciding.

4. What can you release equity for?

Equity release can be used for various purposes, such as paying off debts, making home improvements, or supplementing retirement income. However, discussing your specific goals and financial situation with an advisor before proceeding with equity release is essential.

5. What if you can’t get a remortgage?

If beneficiaries cannot obtain a remortgage on the inherited property, they may explore alternative options for releasing equity, such as equity release schemes or selling a share of the property.

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