There can be a number of positives and negatives regarding equity, so as you rightly state that it will be looked into carefully.
I have two friends who both used various equity plans, one didn't do to bad and the other didn't fair very well. So it pays to be sure, what is being taken on.
The Consumer Association (Which) have done articles about equity, and I believe CAB have done similar. Any advice from them, would be independent and possibly free. The Daily mirror is also offering a book on equity, 'Free Mirror Guide to Equity Release by Tricia Phillips' (award winning personal finance editor). A copy of that book can be obtained by calling 0800 232 1307 quoting 'Mirror ERGuide 23' (Line open Mon- Fri 9am - 6pm). Apparently the book covers basics, pros and cons, Mirror readers case studies and commonly asked questions!.
Hope the above is of some help?.