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Demystifying Lasting Power of Attorney (Singapore Edition)

Updated: Apr 13, 2023


What is a Lasting Power of Attorney ("LPA")?

LPA is a legal document that allows you (“donor”) to appoint one or more persons (“donee(s)”) to make decisions and act on your behalf if you lose mental capacity (ie, cannot make decisions for yourself) one day. Requirements for LPA and its equivalent differ across countries.


In Singapore, there are two type of LPA forms - LPA Form 1 and LPA Form 2.



What is the difference between LPA Form 1 and LPA Form 2?

LPA Form 1 applications have to be made via an online portal. It contains mostly checkboxes that donors can use to grant donees general powers with the option to select some restrictions. Donors can appoint up to 2 donees and 1 replacement donee. Donees are given powers to manage your "Personal Welfare" and "Property and Affairs".


What is Personal Welfare?

Examples:

  • Daily routine (eg. washing, dressing, and eating)

  • Healthcare and medical treatment decisions

  • Where to live

  • Who the donor may have contact with

What is Property and Affairs?

Examples:

  • Money (eg. bank accounts, bill payments, collect pensions/benefits)

  • Property


LPA Form 2 contains mostly free text spaces and is for donors who wish to grant donees customized powers and/or appoint more donees. LPA Form 2 must be drafted by a lawyer.


(Speak to us here for a recommendation of a lawyer most suitable for you to help you with your LPA form 2).


The majority of people use LPA Form 1. Apply online here or join our webinar here to learn more about the things to consider before doing your LPA.



Why should I make an LPA?

Contrary to popular beliefs, your family isn't automatically given the right to make legal decisions for you when you lose mental capacity.


Without an LPA, your family has to go through the process of applying for deputyship (ie, getting court's approval to appoint a person to make decisions for you after you have lost mental capacity). The deputyship application process can take over 3 months, and is much more expensive than doing an LPA. This excruciating process could take a toll on your family when they cannot access your bank accounts to pay for bills or make decisions for you.


*Note: Don’t confuse an LPA with a Will. A Will can only be processed after a person dies.

(Find out how to write a will here)



How to make an LPA?

Anyone who is at least 21 years old can make their LPA online.


The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) provides an overview of how to make an LPA, and here are some key points:


1. Choose your donee(s) wisely and decide what powers to grant them. They should be

  • At least 21 years old

  • People whom you trust will take your best interests into consideration when making decisions for you

  • If you decide to have more than one donee, you have to decide if they will act “jointly” or “jointly & severally”.

Jointly - Donees have to make decisions together. If one of the donees is unable to act (eg. has passed away), the remaining donee cannot act alone, thus no one can can make decisions for you for that particular matter.


Jointly & severally - Donees can make decisions individually or together. One donee can act without consulting the other donee, and if one donee is unable to act, the remaining donee can still make decisions for you alone.


2. Fill in your LPA application online

Use your Singpass to login to the online portal and fill in your donee(s)’ details including what powers you are granting them.


3. Your donees to accept your appointment

Once you have submitted your LPA application, your donee(s) will receive a notification to login using their Singpass to confirm their details and accept their appointment as your LPA donee.


4. Get your LPA certified by a Certificate Issuer (CI)

Bring your mobile phone with the Singpass app installed and the digital signing enabled, and visit a CI to have your LPA certified.


A CI is either an accredited medical practitioner, practicing lawyer or registered psychiatrist.


(Compare pricing and book a provider to certify your LPA here)

The issuer will

  • ensure that you are not forced or deceived into making an LPA, and understand the purpose and the powers given; and

  • sign your LPA form as a witness

Lawyers who do wills often have Will & LPA packages that can help clients do both documents correctly.


(Find a lawyer who does both Will and LPA through Immortalize Marketplace now)


5. Your LPA is registered

Your CI will submit your LPA for registration. After submission, the Office of the Public Guardian ("OPG") will assess and if there are no objections raised within a 3 weeks wait time, OPG will register your LPA.


You can always login to the online portal to check the status of your application anytime.



Can I share my LPA with others?

The soft copy of your registered LPA can be viewed and downloaded by you and your donees through the online portal. You can also choose to send a soft copy directly to anyone, however, your donees can only send your LPA soft copy to third party organizations after they have declared that you have lost your mental capacity.



Can I revoke (cancel) my LPA?

If you wish to revoke your LPA form, you must complete and sign a revocation form.

  • You are allowed to revoke your LPA at any time when you have mental capacity.

  • You must notify every donee and the OPG of the revocation.

The MSF recommends that you revoke an existing LPA only upon registration of the new LPA, so that you will always have an LPA remain in place for your benefit.



What can revoke my LPA?

Your LPA will be revoked or cancelled or your appointed donee will be terminated when:

  • You or your donee dies

  • Your donee loses mental capacity

  • Your donee rejects to be a donee officially (your donee can disclaim their donee appointment here)

  • Your donee is your spouse and you divorce your donee

  • You or your donee becomes a bankrupt

  • Your donee is a licensed trust company that is liquidated, dissolved, wound up or under judicial management (Note: this only applies to the property & affairs donee)

  • Your LPA or your donee’s powers are cancelled by a Court order (eg. When your donee does not act in your best interest.)

Do note that if more than one donee is appointed to act jointly and one of the donees' power is cancelled, the LPA will also be cancelled.


However, if a replacement donee is appointed or there are one or more surviving donees that can act jointly and severally on any matter, then the LPA would still remain valid.



Can I get a hardcopy of my LPA?

If you would like to have a hard copy for safekeeping, you can submit an application to request for a certified true copy of your LPA via the online portal at a cost of SG$25 per copy.


However, you can easily find and view the soft copy of your registered LPA anytime and at no cost by logging onto your account through the online portal.



Can I submit my LPA online?

Yes, all LPA applications have to be made via an online portal from Nov. 14, 2022.


Under certain exception situations, you may submit a hardcopy of your LPA application. However, whether the application will be accepted is subjected to the Public Guardian’s approval.​





 

Immortalize is Singapore's most comprehensive elderhood marketplace and information provider. Find out all you need to know about ageing better, retiring more meaningfully and leaving a legacy that is uniquely yours here.


Let Immortalize help you get your LPA, Will, and other legacy planning related matters sorted easily.



 

FAQs


Who can I appoint as an LPA donee?

People usually appoint their family or friends as LPA donee(s), but if family or friends are not an optimal choice for you or you don't have any trusted person you can rely on to make decisions for you, you can choose to appoint professional donee(s) in your LPA to act on your behalf if you lose mental capacity one day.


(Check out professional donees, the services they can render and their prices here.)


What happens if I lose mental capacity and do not have an LPA?

Your family or someone has to apply for deputyship, so they can be appointed as deputy and make decisions for you. The deputyship application process can take over 3 months, and is also more expensive than doing an LPA. This process is excruciating and could take a toll on your family when they cannot access your bank accounts to pay for bills or make decisions for you.


How is my LPA activated?

To be able to activate your LPA, your donee will need to first obtain a medical report from a registered medical practitioner and/or other supporting documents to prove that you have lost mental capacity. Then your donee can log onto the online portal and send the soft copy of your LPA to third party organizations and make decisions for you.


Should you regain your mental capacity, you will be able to manage your own affairs again. Your registered LPA will still be valid.


Can I submit a hardcopy of my LPA application?

You may submit a hardcopy of your LPA application only under certain exception situations. However, whether the application will be accepted is subjected to the Public Guardian’s approval.​



 

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article or site should be construed as providing legal advice or advice of any sort. The information provided are general in nature and may become inaccurate over time. Please consult a professional for advice.


For any issues or queries, please contact j@immortalize.io

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