Re-mortgage your house

A ticking time bomb for interest only borrowers

If you are on an interest only mortgage do not delay making plans to eventually clear your debt

On an interest only plan you will pay less to your lender each month. This sounds great in theory, however in practice it means that you are not paying off any of the capital sum of your loan. Once you come to the end of your mortgage, the initial borrowing will still need to be paid off in a lump sum. If you haven’t planned in advance then you will likely lose your home, either through being forced to sell or the bank will repossess it.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that around a fifth of mortgage holders in the UK are on interest only plans, some 1.9 million borrowers. Financial regulators have clamped down on who has access to these types of mortgages, but this does nothing to help those who have already entered into these deals.

If you are currently on an interest only plan you need to act now while there may still be time. It is your responsibility to pay off the loan so the earlier you speak to your lender or mortgage adviser the more time you will have to make a difference. You need to assess how much you owe and when it is due to be repaid. Once you have clarity on this issue then you can work out whether you are likely to be able to repay it in full. You may be planning on downsizing at the end of the term, but check to make sure you will have enough money to do so. You may be able to switch your mortgage to a capital and interest repayment plan or even change the length of the term. It’s crucial to speak to your lender or mortgage adviser to see if this is an option.

Once you have discussed with your lender or mortgage adviser and you have come up with a plan, it may involve a remortgage. If so you will require our expert guidance in relation to dealing with the legal formalities.

If you are on an interest only mortgage and would like advice in relation to any issues regarding remortgaging your property please give us a call on 02891 817715 or contact our property team by email at

Wills and estate solicitor Newtownards

5 Reasons to Make or Update Your Will

1. Decide who Inherits

This is the most obvious reason to make a will. You can decide who gets what. You can make specific gifts of cash and items to particular beneficiaries or have everything split up equally amongst a group of named individuals. If you don’t make a valid Will then the rules of Intestacy decide who inherits your estate. This could mean someone, that you don’t want to, benefits from your death.

2. Decide who administers your estate

You can name executors (we recommend naming at least two) who will have the legal responsibility to administer your estate. This will involve paying your debts, funeral and testamentary expenses and distributing the assets amongst the beneficiaries. This can be a difficult job so you should think long and hard about who you select. You can name us as one of your executors which may give you some peace of mind.

3. Make sure your unmarried partner is provided for

If you and your partner are unmarried and you were to die without making a Will your partner will not automatically be entitled to share in your estate, whereas a spouse or civil partner would be entitled to the whole estate. Therefore if you wish to protect your unmarried partner (and vice versa) then you should think about making a will immediately.

4. New Kids

Having new children means you should update your will and make sure they are provided for. If not they may have to apply to the court to gain entitlement to a portion of your assets. This could add to their grief at, what will already be, a difficult. You can also nominate people to care for any children under the age of 18 until they reach adulthood.

5. Marriage or Divorce

These are life-changing circumstances. Getting married will immediately invalidate your will, therefore you should always make a new one after getting hitched. Conversely getting divorced does not automatically revoke your will so you can’t stand the thought of your ex benefitting from your death then you may wish to rip it up and start over.

If you have gone through any big changes in your life recently and are considering making or updating your will please give us a call on 02891 817715, or contact our estates team by email at

How to ensure you are safe on the roads in the snow

Accidents sky-rocket when it snows, here’s how to avoid them and stay safe

Given the extreme adverse weather conditions we are currently experiencing, we at Boyd Rice Solicitors thought it might help if we produced a quick guide to driving safely in the snow. We know from experience that the number of accidents rise exponentially when it snows here but there are ways you can avoid this happening to you.

1. Don’t drive

If you can avoid it, simply don’t go out on the roads! This won’t be an option for many but if a journey isn’t necessary it’s better to stay home and stay safe.

2. Plan your journey and leave more time

Know a cross-country shortcut to work? Give that route a miss for now and stick to the main roads wherever possible. These are more likely to be gritted and safer to drive on. By leaving more time you can de-ice your car properly before you begin and you can drive a little slower to take account of the hazardous conditions.

3. Check your tyres

This is important because poor tyres will not grip when driving on snow and ice. This could lead you to skidding and having an accident. Therefore you should check your tyres to ensure there is adequate tread.

4. Prepare for the worst

Pack your mobile and make sure you have your breakdown provider’s number saved on it. You don’t want to breakdown when you are in the middle of nowhere and its freezing cold. Bring some water, food, a hi-vis jacket, ice scraper, blanket, jump leads, anything that will ensure if that your car can’t drive you will be safe until someone comes to rescue you.

Even if you follow the above precautions you may still find yourself involved in an accident as a result of the actions of someone else. If so, please contact one of the injury claims team on 02891 817715, or by email at and let us explain how we can help you.

We offer a free initial consultation where we will confidentially discuss the circumstances of your accident and will assess how we can assist you in the best way possible. We use leading experts to investigate accidents and our team of medical practitioners are extremely experienced.