Blog > Navigating the legal landscape of equity release

Navigating the legal landscape of equity release

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By Clare Yates • 27th April 2023 • 4 min read

What happens when equity release reaches the legal stage?

Once your equity release application reaches the legal stage you will need to choose an equity release solicitor to act on your behalf. There will then be a few tasks to carry out before your case can complete and you receive your money.

If you will soon be navigating the legal landscape of equity release, make sure you read this simple guide to help plan ahead:

  • How does an equity release plan work?
  • What will my equity release solicitor do?
  • What will my equity release solicitors want me to do?
  • How do I find an equity release solicitor?

How does an equity release plan work?

Equity release enables homeowners aged 55 and over to unlock a tax-free cash lump sum from the value of your home. 

You can spend the money however you want to, once you first clear any outstanding mortgage on your home. There are typically no monthly repayments to make on a lifetime mortgage, unless you want to reduce the amount of interest that would otherwise roll-up.

When you pass away or move into long-term care, the money from the sale of your home will repay your loan plus interest.

What will my equity release solicitor do?

As soon as you have a formal offer from your lender to lend you the money, it’s over to your chosen equity release solicitors to take things forward. 

If you are arranging a lifetime mortgage then the legal stage of your equity release journey may resemble something similar to this:

  • Get your welcome pack: This will provide you with information explaining the services your solicitor will provide. 
  • Bank details check: Your equity release solicitors will need to confirm your bank details.
  • Check of title deeds: Your equity release solicitor will review a copy of your title deeds from HM Land Registry to check the relevant information about your home.
  • Face-to-face meeting: It is a requirement of the Equity Release Council that you have at least one face-to-face meeting with a solicitor before your case can complete. 
  • Final checks: After your mortgage deeds have been signed, your equity release solicitor will carry out their final checks and review the whole case. Some final queries might be raised at this point.
  • Completion: Your funds will be paid from your lender to your solicitor for them to settle any fees and outstanding mortgage directly. The remaining monies will then transfer directly to your bank account to spend how you wish.

Read more about equity release solicitors here.

What will my equity release solicitors want me to do?

There are a few things you will need to do yourself once your application reaches the legal stage:

  • When you receive your welcome pack you may also receive some paperwork to complete. This may include a form to confirm that you accept your solicitors’ quotation and wish to instruct them to represent you. Completing this paperwork as soon as possible will help to avoid unnecessary delays.
  • You’ll have to provide your bank details to help with fraud checks and ensure they have everything ready for when your money arrives. 

You will need to have a face-to-face meeting with your equity release solicitor before your case can complete, so make sure you are available as soon as possible. This is a requirement for all lenders who are members of the Equity Release Council. Identity checks are likely to be carried out during this meeting. Your solicitor will tell you which forms of I.D. you need to provide.

How do I find an equity release solicitor?

As with most things, a recommendation from someone you know and trust is often a good starting point when it comes to finding a solicitor.

Alternatively, our selected advisers at Equity Release Wise can recommend a reliable equity release solicitor for you if you wish. Due to their wealth of experience, it may help things progress more quickly for you.

The Equity Release Council also offers a search function on their website which allows you to find ‘equity release solicitors near me’.

Speak to a specialist

If you haven’t begun to gather equity release quotes yet then why wait any longer? Our selected equity release specialists are ready and waiting to find you the best equity release deals. They can also help you find a suitable solicitor to help you through the legal process.

If you’d like to explore your options for equity release, call us on 0808 178 3055 or request a call back and we’ll arrange an appointment for you. Alternatively, check your eligibility and get an initial indication of how much tax-free cash you could unlock.

How can we help?

To find out more about equity release or arrange a consultation with an adviser, please call or request a call back and we’ll be happy to help further.

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Related blogs

Read more about equity release and other consumer finance matters.

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Published: 19th April 2023 (Updated: 14th May 2024) | 4 min read