The Court of Protection jargon: lawyers and Courts use lots of technical terms and ‘legal jargon’ that you may not entirely understand. To help, here are some of the most common ones with a short explanation.
Attorney – A person appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney who has the legal right to make decisions on behalf of the ‘Donor’ (see below). An Attorney is appointed by the person making the Lasting Power of Attorney, when they still have capacity.
Bond – This is an Insurance Policy set up at the start of a Deputyship to protect against any financial losses as a result of decisions made or actions taken by the Deputy. The level of the Bond is set by the Court of Protection. This is also referred to as the ‘Guarantee Bond’
Capacity – This refers to a person’s ability to make a particular decision.
Code of Practice – This acts as a guide to support the Mental Capacity Act.
Court Order – This is a legal document which sets out the legal rights a Deputy has and his obligations or restrictions when making decisions.
Court of Protection – The Court specialising in issues relating to people who lack capacity to manage their own affairs and make specific decisions for themselves.
Deputy – An individual appointed under a Court Order with the legal right to make decisions on behalf of the ‘Donor’ (see below). A Deputy is appointed by the Court when the Donor no longer has capacity.
Donor – The person whose affairs a Deputy manages (or the person who has made an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney). They are called Donors because they have ‘donated’ their decision making powers to someone else. In the Court of Protection, Donors used to be referred to as ‘Patients’ so you may also see this term used from time to time.
Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) – this is an organisation which keeps a register of Deputies and investigates any concerns raised in respect of those Deputies.
Official Solicitor – Provides legal services for vulnerable people and represents adults who lack capacity to conduct litigation in County Court or High Court Proceedings in England and Wales and in the Court of Protection. They would be involved, for instance, when a Statutory Will is being prepared.
Personal Welfare – Relates to decisions about someone’s health and personal welfare. This includes what they eat, where they go on holiday, what home (if any) they go into.
Property & Affairs – Relates to decisions about someone’s financial and property matters. This includes decisions about selling or letting the Donor’s property, their income and expenditure and savings.
Statutory Will – A Will made by the Court of Protection for a person who lacks testamentary capacity (see below).
Testamentary Capacity – The level of understanding a person needs to make a Will.
Court of Protection jargon explained.