Legal jargon

Do you speak legal? Breaking through the language barriers

Quick guide to the legal jargon about elderly care

Talking to your parents about their wishes as they age can be tricky, so sorting out the legal aspects with them in advance will make life easier if you need to make decisions about care, funding for care, or to sort out what happens when…?   The legal lingo can be as clear as mud, but Age Space can help.  Here is our short guide to the main legal jargon translated into plain English, plus links to more in-depth content if you want more information about all things legal in relation to the elderly.

Advance directive An advance directive, also known as a living will is a statement explaining what medical treatment an individual would not want in the future, should they ‘lack capacity’.   For example, a Do Not Resuscitate order.
Court of Protection

 

If someone is mentally incapable making decisions and there is no lasting power of attorney in place, the matter can be referred to the Court of Protection. The court will either make the decision itself on the person’s behalf, or appoint a “deputy”, to make the decision.
Do not Resuscitate

 

A “Do Not Resuscitate” which is a legal order telling a medical team not to perform CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) on a patient.
Grant of Representation The Grant of Representation is a court issued document proving the Executors’ entitlement to deal with the Deceased’s Estate.
Living will  A living will (advance directive) is a statement explaining what medical treatment an individual would not want in the future, should they ‘lack capacity’.   For example, a Do Not Resuscitate order.
Office of the public Guardian

 

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) protects people in England and Wales who may not have the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves, such as about their health and finance.
Power of attorney A power of attorney is a legal document which enables a person to give power to another to look after their affairs when they no longer have the capacity to do so themselves.
Probate Grant of probate is an order of the Court giving one or more people the legal authority to administer the estate of the deceased to distribute its content to the beneficiaries.
Wills A will, also known as a Last Will and Testament, is a legally enforceable declaration of how someone wants their property or assets to be distributed after death