Glossary of Terms for Lasting Power of Attorney
Advance decision to refuse treatment
Sometimes people have clear views about what types of medical treatment they don't want to have and would not
consent to. An advance decision allows them to express these views clearly before they lose mental capacity. They
can specify that it is to apply even if life is at risk.
Someone appointed under either a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) who has
the legal right to make decisions within the scope of their authority on behalf of the person (the Donor) who made
the Power of Attorney.
Any decisions made or anything done for a person who lacks capacity to make specific decisions must be in the
person's best interests. There are standard minimum steps to follow when working out someone's best interests.
These are set out in section 4 of the Mental Capacity Act.
The ability to make a decision about a particular matter at the time the decision needs to be made. The legal
definition of a person who lacks capacity is set out in section 2 of the Mental Capacity Act.
Court of Protection
The specialist Court for all issues relating to people who lack capacity to make specific decisions.
Someone appointed by the Court with ongoing legal authority as prescribed by the Court to make decisions on
behalf of a person who lacks capacity to make particular decisions as set out in Section 16(2) of the Mental
Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)
A Power of Attorney created under the Enduring Powers of Attorney Act 1985 appointing an Attorney to deal with
the Donor's property and financial affairs. Existing EPAs will continue to operate under Schedule 4 of the Mental
Capacity Act, which replaces the EPA Act 1985.
Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service
The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service is a statutory service established under Section 35 of
the Mental Capacity Act. The purpose of the IMCA service is to help particularly vulnerable people who lack mental
capacity to make important decisions about serious medical treatment and changes of accommodation, and who have no
one that it would be appropriate to consult about these decisions.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
A Power of Attorney created under the Mental Capacity Act (see Section 9(1)) appointing an Attorney to make
decisions about the Donor's personal welfare (including healthcare) or deal with the Donor's property and
Office of the Public Guardian
The Public Guardian is an officer established under Section 57 of the Mental Capacity Act. The Public Guardian
will be supported by the Office of the Public Guardian, which will supervise Deputies, keep a register of Deputies,
LPAs and EPAs, and investigate any complaints about Attorneys or Deputies. The OPG replaces the Public Guardianship
Office (PGO) that has been in existence for many years.
Personal welfare decisions are any decisions about a person's healthcare, where they live, what clothes they
wear, what they eat and anything needed for their general care and well-being. Attorneys and Deputies can be
appointed to make decisions about personal welfare on behalf of a person who lacks capacity. Many acts of care are
to do with personal welfare.
Property and affairs
Any possessions owned by a person (such as a house or flat, jewellery or other possessions), the money they have
in income, savings or investments and any expenditure. Attorneys and Deputies can be appointed to make decisions
about property and affairs on behalf of a person who lacks capacity.
Resource - http://www.publicguardian.gov.uk/utility/glossary.htm