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Equity release solicitors: do you need one and how much do they cost?

4 mins read
by Lisa-Marie Voneshen
Last updated Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Are you considering equity release? You’ll need a solicitor to help you with the process. We look at what an equity release solicitor is, what they do, how to find one, and the costs.

Equity release can be useful as it allows you to access equity locked in your home, but it involves getting financial and legal advice beforehand. 

We explore what you need to know about equity release solicitors.  


  • Before seeking equity release, you should get legal and financial advice.

  • Using a solicitor is a legal requirement for getting equity release, so you understand the pros and cons.

  • While a solicitor cannot recommend equity release products, a financial adviser can.

  • Unbiased can quickly match you with a qualified financial adviser who can help you with the process. 

What is an equity release solicitor, and do I need one? 

If you’re considering equity release, a solicitor is legally required so you can understand the pros and cons, long-term implications, and cost.  

Before seeking a solicitor, it’s also recommended you speak with a qualified financial adviser regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to determine the type of equity release product you need.  

Unbiased can quickly match you with an FCA-regulated adviser who can help decide if equity release is right for you and recommend the right product.  

An equity release solicitor ensures you receive independent advice and are acting with a full understanding of what an equity release contract entails. 

As equity release can impact what your beneficiaries can inherit, it can have broader implications.  

It’s worth considering a solicitor who’s a member of the Equity Release Council (ERC), as they’ll follow its rules and principles.  

Before you agree to a solicitor, request an outline of costs and an expected timeline. 

The equity release provider will also have its own solicitor to ensure it has the first legal charge on the property on which the loan is taken out. 

This means if you cannot repay the equity release loan, the provider can claim your home and sell it to get their money back.  

What does an equity release solicitor do? 

An equity release solicitor will take care of the equity release process for you once you instruct them. 

This will involve the following steps: 

  • The solicitor will open a case file and provide you with a unique reference number. 

  • You have to fill out forms agreeing you’re happy for your solicitor to act on your behalf, agree to their terms and fees, and answer relevant questions. You’ll also need to provide bank details and relevant documentation for fraud checks.  

  • Your solicitor will then secure a copy of your property’s title deeds from the Land Registry to check your property details and review this on your behalf. The equity release solicitor will be looking for any restrictions or if a partner who has died is still on the title deeds, as they’ll need to be removed. 

  • If there are no issues with the information provided or your application, an offer will be made by the equity release provider, which your solicitor will review. You can also ask any questions you have.  

  • Once you’re happy with the offer, you’ll need to sign the mortgage deed. This is a vital part of the process as you’ll accept the equity release contract. You may also need to bring identification, including proof of identity and address, to the meeting.  

  • The signed mortgage deed will be sent to the equity release provider’s solicitors, who will ensure everything is ready for completion and address any outstanding issues. 

  • Once this is completed, you should receive your equity release funds. If you’re paying off an existing mortgage using equity release, this will be completed by your solicitor.  

It’s worth stressing that in some situations, more than one solicitor will be required.  

For example, if there are adults living permanently in your home or if equity release is being used as part of a divorce settlement. 

How do I find an equity release solicitor? 

It’s worth researching to find the best equity release solicitor for you. 

A good place to start is the ERC’s ‘Find a Member' service, which provides details of solicitors near you and instructions for contacting them. 

If you already have a solicitor, you could consider using them. You should check if they specialise in equity release and ask a financial adviser if they’re on the provider’s panel and meet their criteria. 

Your equity release provider may specify a minimum number of lawyers in your chosen firm, so it’s best to check this first. 

How much does it cost to use an equity release solicitor? 

The cost of an equity release solicitor varies, but you can expect to pay around £1,000. 

It’s worth checking whether this is a fixed fee or if it depends on how much equity you’re releasing, as well as if this is paid upon completion.  

You may also face additional legal fees when setting up your equity release agreement, such as changing your name in the title deed or breaking a trust.  

Your solicitor should inform you of any extra fees in advance to ensure you’re happy with them. 

Need financial advice? 

Unbiased can match you with a qualified financial adviser who can examine your circumstances, check whether equity release is right for you, and recommend the right product.  

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Lisa-Marie Voneshen
Lisa-Marie Voneshen is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She is an award-winning journalist with nearly a decade of experience writing and editing content across various areas, including personal finance and investing.