Can I release equity in my home during lockdown?
May 29, 2020
While COVID-19 has halted many things in their tracks, not all legal processes have been majorly affected. In fact, many people are using this time to get their affairs in order, including by reviewing their financial planning arrangements and the structuring of assets.
Some clients are keen to boost their bank balance by releasing some of the equity in their home. This can provide much needed finances to fund day-to-day living, a kitchen extension, or even to pay for a family holiday once the current situation eases.
The good news is that we can help with this, despite not being able to meet with you in person. The Equity Release Council (the body that represents the equity release sector) has issued modified rules that allow clients to be advised remotely, without having to physically meet with their solicitor. There are various steps that need to be taken, including written advice, and documented video or telephone calls. This should ensure clients continue to receive the very best legal support and that the necessary checks are in place, which includes verifying that:
the client is who he or she claims to be;
the client has mental capacity to enter into the equity release arrangement;
there is no duress or coercion; and
where there is more than one party involved, both agree to enter into the equity release arrangement.
The new provisions on remote advice stand to apply for as long as restrictions on movement are in place. Once face-to-face meetings with clients can resume, we’ll be delighted to welcome you to our offices. But in the meantime, we’re here (on the end of a phone line, video link or email) to help with your future planning. Contact us on 01264 353411 and ask for Julie Docherty.
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