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Getting Started

At the outset we must check the identity of all of our clients in order to comply with Money Laundering Regulations. The rules and guidance from the Equity Release Council require that we meet you during the process. We will need to ensure that the people we meet match the identification that has been produced.

We will ask you for two forms of identification for each client as follows:

  • PHOTO ID - Photo identification documents must be clear and legible.
  • PROOF OF RESIDENCE - These documents must be dated within the last three months.

We will carry out an identity check against you. We appreciate that you may have already had to produce the identification documents to your financial adviser and possibly others during the transaction, but we do need to obtain these from you directly in order to comply with our regulatory requirements.

If you send us original documents that are valuable (such as a passport or driving licence), please make sure that you send the document to us by special delivery or recorded delivery and that it is insured.

How we take things forward

We provide you with a quotation and you decide whether or not to instruct us.

  1. We provide our formal instruction letter and ask you to return our signed Terms of Business with your identification documents.
  2. We fully open our file and confirm our instructions to you.
  3. We carry out any preparation work that we are able to prior to issue the equity release or lifetime mortgage offer.
  4. Once the mortgage offer is issued, we will send you a full written report on the offer for you to consider and sign.
  5. We will arrange a meeting with you to go through the mortgage offer, our mortgage report letter, and ensure that you are happy with all aspects of the transaction.
  6. We will then invite you to sign all the documents for the mortgage lender.
  7. We will provide any mortgage lender's solicitors with our report and full documentation in accordance with their requirements.
  8. Once the mortgage lender (and any solicitors they may instruct) have approved the paperwork and documentation provided, we can set a date for completion.
  9. We complete the transaction and release the funds to you.

Will and LPA when entering into an equity release or lifetime mortgage arrangement

When entering into an equity release or lifetime mortgage arrangement, it is important to review your Will and lasting power of attorney, to make sure these legal documents compliment your current circumstances. At Martin Tolhurst Solicitors, we have a specialist Wills and Powers of Attorney Team who can review your circumstances and comment on whether your existing Will and power of attorney might need updating or if you do not have a Will or power of attorney in place, we can prepare these documents for you.

Many people are familiar with the concept of a Will, in so far as it is a set of written instructions that specify where an individual's assets are to pass on death and identifies who will be responsible for making sure this is done. A power of attorney is different from a Will, in that it allows a third party of your choice to act on your behalf during your lifetime. The document is particularly useful if you lose mental capacity or become unwell, because it will enable someone you trust to be able to deal with matters on your behalf.

Some equity release and lifetime mortgage providers have specific conditions which must be met promptly if the borrower becomes unwell or dies. For example, the mortgage company may insist the property is sold within a specified time frame if the borrow dies or moves into full time care. The mortgage company will want to know all reasonable steps are being taken to make sure the property is sold, pursuant to the terms of the mortgage conditions. Failure to comply with the conditions of your mortgage could lead to the mortgage company taking legal action against you or your estate.

If you have appointed an attorney under a power of attorney or an executor under a professionally prepared Will, who is ready and able to act, this can help ensure the terms of the mortgage are complied with. When entering into an equity release or lifetime mortgage is vital you review your Will and power of attorney, which our specialist Will and Powers of Attorney Team can help you with.