Silver splitters give lawyers a property headache

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One of the repercussions of a rising divorce rate amongst the over-50s is that their legal advisers are being asked questions on property finance which they do not feel qualified to answer.

This is the conclusion of new research from Key Partnerships which revealed 35% of law firms fear that the advice they offer on property finance and mortgages goes beyond their core expertise.

Around 44% of them report a rise in demand for advice on buying homes after divorce and two-thirds believe equity release loans enabling clients to access property wealth could help, but say it is only suggested as a solution in a third of cases they deal with.

The backdrop is that the over-50s, commonly known as ‘silver splitters’ are the only age group to see a rise in divorce rates over the past ten years. This is despite total numbers of divorces falling according to Government data.

Director at Key Partnerships Will Hale said: “Splitting assets on divorce is challenging enough but for the over-50s there is the additional pressure of having to fund a new home when mortgage lenders are reluctant to help older borrowers.

“There is a growing demand for solutions which enable clients to buy a new home after divorce and law firms are coming under pressure to provide advice on an area that is not necessarily their core expertise.

“Equity release enables one partner to remain in the home while allowing property wealth to be shared and is a growing alternative for settling property issues at divorce. Equity release can also be used to boost funds available for a new purchase by releasing money on the new home.”

Key Partnerships is an equity release referral service.

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