Nowadays, Singaporeans are living longer – but more are also developing dementia. This condition affects 1 in 10 Singaporeans aged above 60, and is characterised by a deterioration in one’s mental capacity and cognitive functions.
Losing one’s mental capacity poses as a serious challenge to our physical and emotional well-being, as well as creates stress for our family members. Getting a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is one way in which you can actively plan for this possibility and obtain a peace of mind for you and your family.
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What Is Lasting Power of Attorney?
An LPA is a legal document that enables an individual to appoint donee(s) to take care of his affairs if and when he loses mental capacity.
You must be 21 or over and be of mental capacity to make your LPA.
What Is a Donee?
The person signing the LPA is usually referred to, in law, as the donor, and the person who would exercise the power of attorney is referred to as the donee.
Your donees can be appointed to act in two broad areas: personal welfare, and property and affairs.
What Can Your Donees Have the Right to Do?
Appointed donees of a donor are granted the right to make decisions regarding:
This includes issues on where the donor should live and with whom, day-to-day care decisions, social activities they should take part in, personal correspondence, healthcare matters as well as whom the donor may have contact with.
Property and Affairs
This includes property and accounts management, tax matters, investments, rental payments, mortgages and household expenses.
Appointed donees of a donor may not make decisions related to:
- Adopting or renouncing a religion
- Consenting to marriage
- Making or revoking an Advanced Medical Directive
- Voting at an election
- Any other matters as prescribed by the Minister for Social and Family Development
When Do the Powers of Your Donee Start and End?
The powers of your appointed donee start when:
The Donor Loses Mental Capacity
The loss of mental capacity is determined via certification by a registered doctor. Financial institutions will, in practice, request for certification
The powers of your appointed donee end in these situations:
- Bankruptcy of donor/donee (for property and affairs matters only)
- Death of donor/donee
- Divorce between donor and donee, unless specified
- Donee lacks mental capacity to act as a donee
- Donee declines the appointment
- When a court order is made
Why Should I Get a LPA?
If you lose your mental capacity and don’t have an LPA, your family members are not automatically granted the right to make legal decisions on your behalf – this could obstruct their ability to take care of you.
Your family may then face issues with making care arrangements for you, managing bank accounts and properties on your behalf, and even using your funds to take care of your daily needs.
Before they are authorised to make decisions on your behalf, they will have to apply to Court in order to be appointed as your deputy. This application process is a lot longer and more expensive compared to the LPA application process.
How Do I Make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Consider who you want to appoint as your donee(s) and the powers to be given to them. Donees can be individuals, trust companies or professional donees.
Fill up the appropriate LPA Form (Form A or B) and Application form
See a certificate issuer to sign as witness and certification that you are aware of the implications of an LPA.
Apply to register your completed LPA form with the Office of Public Guardian (OPG). Registration fee is waived for Singapore Citizens until 31 March 2021
Your LPA will be registered if there are no valid objections raised after 6 weeks
Every individual is different, and your loved one has care needs that are unique. Engaging a caregiver for your loved one not only encourages interaction; it also helps build a strong emotional support.
To give your loved one the best care he/she deserves, we provide a free care consultation to ensure that they get a Care Professional that best suits their needs.
How Much Does It Cost?
LPA fees can vary depending on the complexity of each case.
According to the Ministry of Social and Family Affairs, the 10 most visited accredited medical practitioners charge fees ranging from $25 to $80, with most charging $50 for the LPA certificate issuing fee.
Where to Get a LPA?
Three groups of professionals can act as Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) certificate issuers:
- Doctors accredited by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
- Practising lawyers (a Singaporean solicitor qualified to practice Singapore law in a Singapore law practice).
- Registered psychiatrists.
Most people apply for LPAs using doctors and lawyers. The Ministry of Social and Family Affairs has a directory of LPA certificate issuers as well as a list of the top 10 most visited certificate issuers here.
What Should I Consider When Planning for an LPA?
Who to Appoint Donee or Donees, as Well as Replacement Donee(s)
You should choose your donee(s) wisely – they need to be someone you trust to make the best decisions for you with your interest as the priority. Beyond family members, you can also opt to appoint a licensed trust company or professional donees such as lawyers, accountants, as well as healthcare and social service workers.
What Decisions Powers to Grant Your Donee(s)
They can make decisions on your behalf on personal welfare, property and affairs, or both.
In the case that you have more than one donee, you need to consider whether your donees will act jointly (must act together), or jointly on some matters and severally (separately) on others.
LPAs are a step in protecting your loved ones in the future. Head here to learn more about dementia and about the available types of care for a loved one with dementia in Singapore.
If you suspect that a loved one may have dementia, you may get a free dementia care consultation with our Care Advisors here.
If you’re looking for someone to care for your loved ones:
Homage provides caregiving services for your loved ones at every stage. Our trained care professionals are able to provide companionship, nursing care, night caregiving, home therapy and more, to keep your loved ones active and engaged.
Provide the best care to your loved one today! Fill up the form below for a free consultation with our Care Advisory team.
- Lasting Power Of Attorney VS Power Of Attorney. Fung, Peen Lim. Yuen Law LLC. Retrieved 4th September from https://yuenlaw.com.sg/power-of-attorney-vs-lasting-power-of-attorney/
- Lasting Power Of Attorney. Ministry of Social and Family Development. Retrieved 4th September from https://www.msf.gov.sg/policies/Pages/Lasting-Power-of-Attorney.aspx
- Lasting Power Of Attorney. Health Hub. Retrieved 4th September from https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/259/lasting_power_attorney_LPA
- Lasting power of attorney. Moneysense. Retrieved 4th September from https://www.moneysense.gov.sg/articles/2018/11/lasting-power-of-attorney-lpa
- Average Cost To Pay A Certificate Issuer To Make An LPA. Ministry of Social and Family Development. Retrieved 4th September from https://www.msf.gov.sg/media-room/Pages/Average-cost-to-pay-a-certificate-issuer-to-make-an-LPA.aspx