The LPA is a legal document that a person who is above the age of twenty-one (21) can make to voluntarily appoint one or more persons to make decisions and act on his/her behalf if he/she should one day lose the capacity to make his/her own decisions in accordance to the Mental Capacity Act. The Office of the Public Guardian is the government body in charge of LPAs.
The person making the LPA is called the Donor.
The persons the Donor appoints is called the Donee.
The Donor may appoint Donees to act in two broad categories – personal welfare decisions and/or property & affairs decisions.
An LPA allows you (the Donor) to indicate your personal choice of a trusted person(s) who can automatically step forward to act on your behalf if a doctor certifies that you have lost mental capacity.
Making an LPA also allows your loved ones to avoid having to go to court to apply for a deputy for you if you should lose capacity to make your own decisions. This can end up saving your loved ones thousands of dollars and avoid potential disputes within the family about who should make your decisions for you.
It also allows your Donee to immediately start managing your matters (personal welfare and/or property & affairs) instead of having to wait for the entire court selection process of appointing a deputy before any action can be taken. This means much quicker access to your bank accounts and insurance payouts to ensure that they can pay for your medical care and your upkeep. This is particularly important for breadwinners of the family as it ensures that there is no cutoff of access to the funds to the family.
Ultimately, making an LPA provides certainty and peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones.
1. Consider who you want to appoint as your Donee(s) (to make decisions for you) and what kind of powers you wish to give to your Donee(s).
2. Speak with your Donees to ensure that they are willing and able to act as your Donee in the event that you lose mental capacity.
3. Decide on whether you are doing a Form 1 LPA or a Form 2 LPA. Form 1 LPAs are general LPAs which fit most people in Singapore while Form 2 LPAs allow a large degree of customisation. Generally, Form 2 LPAs are required if you have (1) complicated assets that require your specific instructions to manage; (2) very specific instructions as to how your assets are to be used in the event that you should lose capacity; or (3) complicated family relationships that you need to manage carefully. Do note that Form 2 LPAs tend to be significantly more expensive compared to Form 1 LPAs. If you are unsure, feel free to come down for a consultation before making your decision.
4. Book an appointment to consult with us where we will prepare and go through the appropriate documents with you. We will take the time to explain the choices you get to make regarding the powers you wish to grant to the Donee(s) as well as more detailed scenarios of when the LPA is relevant and ensure that all your supporting documents are in order.
5. We will arrange to meet with your Donee(s) to explain to them the duties and responsibilities that they have as Donee(s) and to witness their attestation on your LPA.
6. We will send in your duly executed LPA (together with the necessary supporting documents) to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration on your behalf. Registration fee of $50 is waived till Sept 2016.