A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
1. What is an LPA?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) is a legal document which allows a person (‘donor’) who is at least 21 years of age to voluntarily appoint one or more persons (‘donee(s)’), to make decisions and act on his behalf as his proxy decision maker if he loses mental capacity one day.
2. Who will require an LPA?
Anybody who is at least 21 years of age with mental capacity should consider making an LPA to protect their interest should they lose their mental capacity in the future.
3. What are the steps to be taken to lodge an LPA?
There are generally 5 steps a potential donor would have to take before successfully obtaining an LPA. There are slight variations depending on (1) the type of LPA the donor is interested in applying AND (2) whether the potential donor is a Singaporean or a Singapore Permanent Resident/ Non- Singaporean.
- Consider who you wish to appoint as your donee(s) and the powers to be given to your donee(s). There are two application forms that you can choose from:
- LPA Form 1 (available at Downloads) - Allows potential donors to make a standard LPA that grants general powers with basic restrictions to their donees(s).
- LPA Form 2 (available at Downloads) - Allows potential donors to make a non-standard LPA with specific requirements and to grant customised powers and restriction to their donee(s). Donors who apply for a ‘Form 2’ type LPA would be required to visit a lawyer for the purposes of drafting the Annex to Part 3 of the LPA Form 2. We will schedule the appointment once you have completed Form 2.
- Upon completion of Form 1 or Form 2, please complete the relevant Application Form and go through the Checklist (available at Downloads).
- Once the forms are completed, they will have to be witnessed and certified by an LPA certificate issuer. Currently there are 3 professions that a potential donor can see for the witnessing and certification procedure:
- a medical practitioner accredited by the Public Guardian;
- a practising lawyer; or
- a registered psychiatrist
- We will arrange for the Completed LPA Form to be sent to the Office of Public Guardian. The Completed LPA Form has to be sent with clear photocopies of NRIC (front & back) of the doner, donee(s) and replacement donee(s), if any.
- Once verification by the Office of the Public Guardian is made, there will be a mandatory six weeks waiting period. The LPA will then be registered if there are no valid objections.
Please note that the LPA form must be received by the Office of Public Guardian within 6 months after the certificate issuer signs on the LPA. In addition, a professional charge is payable to the certificate issuer. Please see Our Pricing for the applicable professional charges.
4. What are the powers a Donee?
There are two types of powers that can be entrusted by the donor to the donee.
- Personal Welfare power (including health care decisions). These powers authorise the donee to make decisions for the donor regarding,
- Where the donor should live,
- Who the donor should live with,
- Day to day care decisions (eg. What to wear and eat),
- What social activities to take part in,
- Handling the donor’s personal correspondence, and
- Whom the donor may have contact with.
- Property & Affairs Power. These powers authorise the donee to make decisions for the donor regarding,
- Dealings with property – buying, selling, renting and mortgaging property,
- Opening, closing and operating bank accounts,
- Receiving dividends, income, or other financial entitlements on behalf of the donor,
- Handling tax matters,
- Paying the rent, mortgage repayments and household expenses,
- Investing the donor’s savings, and
- Purchasing a vehicle or other equipment the donor needs.
5. What are the restrictions of the Donee?
The boundaries of the extent of the donee’s power can be largely restricted by the donor. The donor can select basic restrictions of the donee’s power by using LPA Form 1. However, if the potential donor would like to restrict or give specific powers to their donees for the benefit of their individual needs, donors should use the LPA Form 2 instead.
Part 3 of the LPA Form 2 requires the donor to see a lawyer for the drafting of precisely those specific powers or restrictions they wish to confer or impose on their donees. For example, a donor appointing a donee for property & affairs matters may state in the LPA that the donee cannot make any decisions on investments in foreign properties.
6. What are the rights of the Donee?
The appointed donee has the right to make decisions for the donor in lieu of the powers and restrictions that is given him. However, this right to exercise decision making is only exercisable once the donor loses mental capacity.
7. When can an LPA be revoked?
Generally, an LPA can be revoked either by an application of revocation by the donor himself OR if various situations arise that results in the automatic revocation of the LPA.
- Revocation by donor himself – The donor must sign a revocation form and notify both his donee(s) and the Office of the Public Guardian. The donor must have mental capacity to make a self-revocation of an LPA.
- An LPA can also be revoked if:-
- You or your donee dies,
- Your donee lacks mental capacity to act as a donee
- Your donee formally declines the appointment as a donee
- There is a divorce between your donee and you, applicable if your donee is your spouse and you have not stated otherwise in your LPA
- You or your donee becomes a bankrupt or if your donee is a licensed trust company, the company is liquidated, wound up, dissolved or under judicial management (This only applies to the property & affairs donee only)
- A court order is made to cancel the LPA or your donee’s powers. This can happen if your donee did not act in your best interest.