I am looking at taking out an equity release plan and have been told that I need a Solicitor. Is this correct?
Yes, this is correct. Part of the process of taking out an equity release loan is that you have to take independent legal advice which means you must instruct a Solicitor to act for you. This is separate to any advice given to you by your financial advisor. The equity release provider will have their own legal representation.
At what point should I instruct a Solicitor?
You should provisionally instruct a Solicitor once your application has been submitted. Once your application is approved by your chosen lender they will ask you for details of your Solicitor, so it is useful to have this in place in advance to avoid any delays.
What does a Solicitor do during the process?
When your offer is issued, the Lender will send your Solicitor a copy of the offer together with a list of requirements. Your Solicitor will need to have a face to face meeting with you to run through the offer, check that all details are correct and to ensure that you understand the terms, risks, long-term nature, implications and legal obligations of taking out an equity release plan. Your Solicitor will also be required to complete identity checks, check your buildings insurance and carry out various checks in relation to the title of the property. During this meeting, you will sign the legal paperwork with your Solicitor. If you are paying off an existing mortgage with the equity release funds, your Solicitor would also take care of this for you. Your Solicitor will need to submit various documentation to the Solicitor acting for the equity release Lender. Once all parties are satisfied, a date will be set for completion and funds will be released to your Solicitor who will in turn release funds to you.
I am using an equity release plan to finance a purchase - can my conveyancing solicitor deal with everything?
They can, but it is important to tell your conveyancing Solicitor as soon as possible as not all conveyancing solicitors deal with equity release work. It could be costly and time consuming if you have to instruct two separate Solicitors. Here at Foster's we have a conveyancing team who specialise in this type of work; whether it be acting simultaneously on your sale and/or purchase, redeeming an existing mortgage, dealing with a transfer of equity or acting in respect of a lease extension alongside the loan. You will have peace of mind knowing that you will have the same person acting for you in respect of all elements of the transaction.
How long does it take?
Generally, the process will take around 6 - 8 weeks but it will vary depending on the individual circumstances of the transaction.
Our equity release service is completely transparent. We work on a fixed fee basis meaning you will know up front exactly what the legal costs will be.
To find out more about our legal service for equity release or for a no obligation quotation, please contact 01603 723 799 or by email