Legal Jargon Buster

Here are some words you may come across when dealing with Deputyship or Personal Injury Trusts -  and a guide to help you understand them:


Someone appointed to manage state benefits for someone who is unable to do so for themselves.  The Appointee is permitted to use the money claimed to meet the person’s needs.  An Appointee cannot deal with other assets or savings from sources other than benefits.

Best Interests

Any decision which is made on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be a decision which is in their best interests.  Section 4 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides the steps to follow in order to reach a best interests decision.

Court of Protection

A specialist Court that has responsibility for dealing with all aspects of financial and health and welfare issues for those who lack capacity to make decisions about those issues for themselves.

Certificate of Capacity

A Court of Protection Form. This provides the Court with information about an incapacitated person and why they would benefit from having a Deputy. Part of the form is completed by a Doctor or experienced Healthcare Professional setting out their view on the person's capacity to make decisions for themselves.


Someone appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks capacity to deal with some or all aspects of their affairs.  A Deputy can be appointed to make decisions about a person's property and affairs and in some cases personal welfare although welfare issues are often dealt with by a court declaration.

Deputies Declaration

This is a Court form which is filed with the application requesting that a Deputy be appointed. It contains information about the Deputy and seeks various commitments and promises from them.

Deputies annual Report

A report which the Property and Affairs Deputy submits to the Office of the Public Guardian each year to show how they have dealt with an incapacitated person's financial affairs.

Guarantee Bond

All Deputies must be insured. This is usually done by way of a bond with an annual premium. The level of the bond is set by the Court of Protection


Arrangements made under the Mental Health Act 1983 for a Guardian to be appointed for a person with a mental disorder to help ensure that they get the care they need in the community.

Litigation Friend

A person appointed by the Court to conduct legal proceedings on behalf of, and in the name of, someone who lacks the capacity to deal with that for themselves.

Mental Capacity Act

The act of parliament which contains most of the law relating to people who are unable to deal with their affairs due to mental incapacity

Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice

A practical guide setting out how to ensure that the law within the  Mental Capacity Act is followed.

Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)

The Public Guardian is responsible for the supervision of Deputies. A Property and Affairs Deputy must file an annual report with the Public Guardian showing how they have managed all aspects of a persons finances.  The Public Guardian has a team of visitors who will visit the Deputy and the person for whom they act throughout the Deputyship.

Official Solicitor

Provides legal services for vulnerable persons 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.


Someone appointed by the old Court of Protection to manage the property and affairs of a person lacking capacity This was before October 2007 and the introduction of Deputies.  Many receivers have become Deputies, having first obtained an updated order from the Court of Protection. 

Statutory Will

A Will made by the Court of Protection for a person who lacks testamentary capacity. Testamentary capacity is the level of understanding a person needs to make a Will.


An independent representative of the Court of Protection and Office of the Public Guardian who will visit the Deputy and the person they represent.


  • If Deputyship is not your specialism it can be challenging as well as time consuming and difficult to deliver a service that is in the client's best interests. Hyphen Law can help.

    AB James, Bristol

  • Christine provided sensible, realistic and measured advice in a calm and authoritative manner. Her assistance in relation to recovering Court of Protection Deputy costs within the settlement terms reached was critical ensuring my client's future affairs will be properly and professionally managed. I cannot praise her sufficiently.

    Mark Pierce, Boyce Hatton

  • I have been supported by the lawyers at Hyphen Law for more than ten years. During this time I have been amazed at the lengths they have gone to to ensure that my son's health and financial well being was paramount. During the purchase of a house for my son and its subsequent adaptation and-modernisation, Hyphen Law have set a very high bar.

    Graham Fulcher

  • The fact that Hyphen Law are specialists in Deputyship was a huge help...apart from the financial help Paul has got the care he needs. They are a great support to me. It makes my life much easier knowing there is someone on the end of the phone who understands and cares.

    Hyphen law client

  • I have found the deputyship services at Hyphen Law to be of a high standard . Any queries are addressed in a timely manner and the solicitors that I work with are very approachable and client centred .They appear to have a good understanding of the issues being faced by the clients and are willing to work with me as the case manager to address them.

    Janet Cook, Case Manager/Occupational Therapist

  • The support that my son has received from Hyphen Law has been fantastic. At a time when there are so many things for us to think about, it's really reassuring to know that my son's property and financial affairs are being managed by diligent professionals who provide a very personal service


  • Following my work with Hyphen Law in recent years. I am always impressed with their dedication to their clients. I feel they provide a knowledgable and professional service yet are always personable and considerate to their clients needs.

    Jonathan Blake, Neuro Rehab Assist Service Manager, Krysalis Consultancy

  • Our case managers have worked with Hyphen Law for a number of years. Their approachable manner and expertise means that we can work together in the best interests of the client

    A Case Management Company

  • My deputyship has provided me with help guidance when needed and my affairs have been administered very professionally and courteously at all times.

    Miss A D