Lasting Power of Attorney | LPA in Singapore

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows a person who is 21 years of age or older (and has mental capacity to understand what they are doing) to plan how their affairs are to be managed should they lose their mental capacity.

In the LPA, you appoint one or more Donees to act and make decisions on your behalf in the event of a loss of mental capacity. The Donee is given the authority to make decisions about your personal welfare and/or property and financial matters.

  • Use LPA Form 1, If you wish your donor to have only limited powers. This should cover: Personal Welfare; Property & Affairs
  • Use LPA Form2, For donors who wish to appoint 2 donees, more than 1 replacement donee, or grant specific customised powers to donees which cant be addressed in LPA Form 1.
  • LPA Form 2 must be drafted by a lawyer

FAQs

Why make an LPA?

Protection of interests

You could lose your mental capacity at any time and so cannot make important decisions for yourself. If you were to hire an LPA, you would be able to plan and protect your interests during your lifetime.

Court process is expensive and time consuming

This would also allow you to protect your family from tedious court applications. If you were to suddenly lose your mental capacity, your family members are not automatically given the right to make decisions on your behalf or have access to your money.

They would need to apply to the court for an order to administer the affairs of a person who lacks mental capacity. This court order is one where the court appoints a person to be the court appointed deputy to manage the affairs of the person who lacks mental capacity.

You will be cared for quicker

With an LPA in place, the Donee can automatically start managing your personal welfare and/or financial matters, rather than having to go through the drawn out process of the court appointing a deputy. The Donee will have quicker access to your bank accounts and insurance payouts to ensure payment of your medical care and maintenance.

However, if the Donee is authorised to only make decisions about the Donor’s personal welfare then he/she cannot make decisions about the Donor’s finances. In this case, he/she may need to apply to court to be allowed to make decisions on finance matters either by himself or jointly with other Donees (if any).

The opportunity to appoint your own choice

By making an LPA, you would be able to appoint someone who you would actually like to be in a position to manage your welfare and financial matters. If not, someone else may apply to the court to be authorised to make decisions on your behalf or appoint more people to be your deputies and make decisions for you not in line with your interests and wishes.

How do I register an LPA?

A lawyer can assist in registering the LPA with the office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before mental capacity is lost.

What should I take into account when choosing who to appoint as my Donee?

You should take a cautious approach in choosing who to appoint. The person to act as your Donee should be someone you trust given that they are supposed to be managing your affairs in your best interests.

This person should also be someone who you think is competent enough to take on such responsibility as you will not be able to make decisions on these matters when you have lost capacity.

Who is eligible to be appointed a Donee?

A appointed Donee should be a minimum of 21 years old who has a proper mental capacity.

If the LPA grants authority for decision making on your welfare, then the position cannot be taken by an organisation. Therefore it must be a person who is appointed.

However, if the focus is on property-related matters and affairs, then an appointed Donee can be an individual or licensed trust company.

Replacement Donee

You may list a replacement Donee in your form who will be activated to replace your existing Donee if:

  • your Donee gives notice to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) that he does not wish to be a Donee anymore;
  • your Donee passes away;
  • your Donee becomes bankrupt (this will only terminate his power in relation to your Property and Affairs);
  • you and your Donee divorce or have your marriage annulled; or
  • your Donee loses mental capacity.

You can also appoint Professional Donees

The Professional Deputies and Donees (PDD) scheme aims to serve individuals, in particular elderly singles or childless elderly couples, who may not have family members or close friends to rely on to be their decision makers. Donors who are single, divorced or have no next-of-kin or close friends can also appoint professional Donees who must be unrelated to them.

If you still have kin, you may also appoint a professional Donee if you wish. You may choose this option if you have complex instructions about your care and assets, which may be better understood by professionals, or if you want to prevent heated disagreements between loved ones.

Currently, only those from selected professions, such as lawyers, accountants, healthcare and social service professionals, who meet certain criteria and pass a certification course, can apply to be registered as professional deputies or Donees.

These professions were chosen by the OPG because they have been deemed to possess the necessary skills and experience to competently handle decisions on behalf of the mentally incapacitated.

Can I appoint more than one Donee?

You are able to appoint multiple Donees but the person or people chosen must give their agreement to their appointment and must sign in the LPA to act as your Donee or Donee(s).

You can even choose for the Donees to work jointly. By choosing them to work jointly, it would highlight to them that they do need to work together and they can make decisions for you either separately or together.

However, it is also not a good idea to appoint too many Donees as there could be many disputes and misinterpretations of what is the best call of action to ensure your best interests are fulfilled.

There are two different types of LPA’s.

The first type (LPA Form 1) shall be used if you wish your Donee to have limited powers. You can list up to 2 Donees and one replacement Donee. The form covers Personal Welfare issues as well as Property & Affairs issues.

Smart Law also provides a certificate provider option through the Smart Law eService.

The services offered for this form:

To certify Mental capacity by lawyer/doctor

Witnessed and signed by a lawyer/doctor

Execute LPA and send form to the OPG

The total cost of these services are $150.

The second type (LPA Form 2) covers donors who wish to appoint multiple Donees, more than 1 single replacement Donee, or have a lawyer draft specific powers to the Donee which cannot be authorised in LPA Form 1.

The services offered for this form through Smart Law eService:

Lawyer to draft specific clauses to assign the Donee powers

Witnessed and signed by a lawyer/doctor

Execute LPA and send form to the OPG

With the total cost at $800.

Have a question?

Whatsapp / SMS +65 98561646 or email assist@smartlaw.com.sg