In Singapore, the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows individuals to appoint someone they trust to make decisions on their behalf should they lose mental capacity in the future. It is an essential tool for individuals to ensure their financial, property, and personal affairs are well-managed even when they are unable to make decisions for themselves. This article provides a comprehensive guide to understanding the Lasting Power of Attorney in Singapore, its benefits, and the process involved.
What is the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
The Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document governed by the Mental Capacity Act in Singapore. It empowers individuals, known as the “donors,” to appoint one or more persons, referred to as “donees,” to act on their behalf in making decisions when they are mentally incapable.
Importance and Benefits of Lasting Power of Attorney
a. Decision-making: With an LPA, individuals can ensure their personal, financial, and healthcare decisions are made by someone they trust, even when they are unable to do so themselves.
b. Avoiding court intervention: Having an LPA in place helps prevent the need for a court-appointed deputyship, which can be time-consuming, costly, and may not align with the donor’s wishes.
c. Peace of mind: By appointing a trusted person as a donee, individuals can have peace of mind that their affairs will be managed according to their preferences.
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney
In Singapore, there are two types of LPA:
a. Property and Affairs LPA: This allows the donee to make decisions related to the donor’s property, finances, and other monetary matters.
b. Personal Welfare LPA: This grants the donee the authority to make decisions regarding the donor’s healthcare, living arrangements, and personal welfare matters.
Eligibility and Requirements
a. Mental capacity: The donor must have mental capacity at the time of creating the LPA. It is crucial to create an LPA before any mental incapacitation occurs.
b. Minimum age: The donor must be at least 21 years old to create an LPA.
c. Donee selection: The donor can appoint one or more donees, including a replacement donee, to act on their behalf.
Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney
a. Form completion: The donor and the donee(s) must complete the prescribed LPA form, which is available online or through the Office of the Public Guardian.
b. Certification: The LPA form must be certified by a certificate issuer, who can be a registered medical practitioner, an advocate, or a solicitor.
c. Registration: The completed LPA form must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian for it to take effect. A registration fee is applicable.
Revocation and Amendment
a. Revocation: The donor can revoke an LPA at any time as long as they still have mental capacity.
b. Amendment: If the donor wishes to make changes to an existing LPA, they can do so by creating a new LPA or executing a deed of revocation and creating a fresh LPA.
The Lasting Power of Attorney in Singapore is a vital legal instrument that allows individuals to safeguard their interests and ensure that their affairs are appropriately managed when they are no longer capable of making decisions. By understanding the benefits and following the necessary steps to create an LPA, individuals can have peace of mind and protect their