Five Facts About Lasting Power of Attorney
An estimated one in 10 people aged 60 and above has dementia, which is the gradual decline of the brain and its abilities such as thinking, memory and judgment. By 2030, the number of people with dementia in Singapore is expected to hit 103,000.
Having a Lasting Power of Attorney provides early preparations to protect your interests should you become mentally vulnerable one day. You can decide a suitable decision maker, who is reliable and will act in your interest.
1. What is the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
The LPA is a legal document which allows a person who is at least 21 years of age ('donor'), to voluntarily appoint one or more persons ('donee(s)') to make decisions and act on his behalf should he lose mental capacity one day. A donee can be appointed to act in the two broad areas of personal welfare and property and affairs matters.
2. Who are eligible to make a LPA?
The requirements for making an LPA are:
- You must be at least 21 years old;
- You must have the mental capacity to make the LPA; and
- You must not be an undischarged bankrupt if you wish to make an LPA for property and affairs matters.
For the LPA to be valid, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
3. How much does it cost to set up a LPA?
To encourage more Singaporeans to pre-plan to protect their interests, the OPG extended the LPA application fee waiver until 31 August 2020 for Singaporeans making an LPA Form 1.
You are still required to pay a fee to engage an LPA Certificate Issuer to witness and certify your application. There are three groups of professionals who can act as LPA certificate issuers – accredited medical practitioners, lawyers, and psychiatrists. The fees charged depend on the complexity of the case.
4. If I have already made a Will, do I still need a LPA?
The LPA and Will are different legal documents. An LPA allows a person (‘donor’) to appoint one or more donees to make decisions and act on his behalf if he lose mental capacity one day. The LPA will no longer be valid upon the death of the donor.
A Will is to provide for the administration and distribution of what he owns (‘his estate’) among his beneficiaries after his death.
5. What if I lose mental capacity without having made an LPA?
If you do not make an LPA and subsequently lose your mental capacity to make certain decisions, the Mental Capacity Act allows someone else to apply to the Court to either make the specific decisions for you, or appoint one or more persons to be your deputy to make the decision for you.