What is Lasting Power of Attorney and How do I get it in Singapore?

Lasting Power of Attorney Singapore

 

What is the Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”)?

Essentially, the LPA is a legal right of the person creating the LPA (usually referred to as the “donor”) to appoint another person (usually referred to as the “donee”) to make decisions regarding his personal affairs and/or property, should that person lose his mental capacity and become unable to make his own decisions.

If you’d like the precise definition, you can find it in Section 11 of the Mental Capacity Act, reproduced here for your enjoyment:

Lasting powers of attorney

Section 11(1) 

A lasting power of attorney is a power of attorney under which the donor (“P”) confers on the donee (or donees) authority to make decisions about all or any of the following:

(a) P’s personal welfare or specified matters concerning P’s personal welfare;

(b) P’s property and affairs or specified matters concerning P’s property and affairs,

when P no longer has capacity to make such decisions.

Who can make an LPA?

Generally, you can make an LPA as long as you are:

  1. 21 years old and above
  2. Have mental capacity; and
  3. Not an undischarged bankrupt

What are the benefits of making an LPA? 

When you make an LPA, you appoint someone you trust to be responsible for your decisions in the event something unfortunate happens and you lose mental capacity to make your own decisions.

An LPA also relieves any difficulties your family may have in deciding what to do for you should you lose mental capacity. Generally, the process is also a lot more troublesome for a family member to get the authority to make decisions for you should you lose mental capacity without making an LPA. That family member will have to apply to court to request for approval to be a deputy, and this process isn’t as straightforward as when an LPA is created.

What kind of decisions will the person I appoint be able to make if I lose mental capacity?

 Generally, an LPA can confer authority on the person you appoint to make decisions about:

1) Your personal welfare, or specific matters concerning your personal welfare (such as healthcare, where you should live, who you should live with, and other basic decisions such as what to wear and eat)

2) Your property and affairs (E.g. financial matters, managing your bank and CPF accounts, dealing with residential property)

There are restrictions in place that prevent the person you appoint from making certain decisions for you, which include:

These restrictions are not exhaustive and you should consult a lawyer to find out exactly what the donee you appoint can and cannot do on your behalf.

How do I make an LPA?

1) Choose the person you wish to appoint to make decisions on your behalf, and the type of powers you wish to confer on that person.

2) Choose the appropriate LPA form – LPA Form 1 or LPA Form 2.

LPA Form 1 is a general LPA while LPA Form 2 is for more specific matters and has to be drafted by a lawyer.

3) See an LPA Certificate Issuer to sign as your witness and to certify that you are capable of making an LPA.  Under the Mental Capacity Regulations, only certain people are qualified to dispense LPA certificates. These are:

  1. A legally qualified medical practitioner who is registered as a specialist in psychiatry under the Medical Registration Act;
  2. A legally qualified medical practitioner who is accredited by the Public Guardian to issue LPA Certificates; and
  3. An advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court who has in force a practicing certificate under the Legal Profession Act

4) After the Office of the Public Guardian verifies and accepts the application, there will be a 6 week waiting period and the LPA will be registered if there are no valid objections raised.

5) After acceptance of registration, the Office of the Public Guardian will then issue a Donee Identification Card to the Donee.

How much will an LPA cost me?

There has been a recent move by the government to encourage Singapore citizens to make LPAs. As such, the Office of the Public Guardian has waived the $50 application fee for Form 1 until Aug 13, 2018. However, permanent residents and foreigners will still have to pay the $50 fee.

The fees for Singapore citizens for Form 2 is $200 and there will be no waiver of these fees.

HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean that having an LPA done is completely free…

So I have to pay even if I want to do LPA Form 1? Aren’t the fees supposed to be waived?

Yes, the application fees are waived for LPA Form 1 for Singapore citizens. However, you will still have to pay for the Certificate Issuing Fee. All LPA applications have to be certified by a qualified lawyer or accredited registered psychiatrist or medical practitioner, and a professional fee tends to be charged for this service.


If you'd like to hire an affordable, vetted Singapore lawyer to make a Lasting Power of Attorney, get in touch with us here.