For the elderly and their caretakers, Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a useful document to note as one gracefully ages, the caretakers are empowered to make decisions for him/her should the unforeseen situations come along. A Lasting Power of Attorney – also called an LPA – is a legal document that allows the ‘donor’ to appoint one or more persons to make decisions for the elderly if he/she are unable to make decisions for himself/herself. He/she is free to appoint just one person (known as a ‘donee’) or a few people (known as ‘donees’).
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions for you if you are unable to make these decisions yourself in the future.
This might be the case if you suffer from a stroke, have a mental illness, or for any reason are not able to manage your affairs. Hence, it is a good idea to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) early so you can choose a person whom you trust that will act purely for your own good.
By making one, you are protecting yourself and your belongings by appointing someone trusted to take charge of your affairs.
Your loved ones will also find it easier to carry out any activities for you if you have appointed them to make decisions for you via an LPA.
What is an LPA?
A Lasting Power of Attorney – also called an LPA – is a legal document. It allows you (the ‘donor’) to appoint one or more persons to make decisions for you if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. You are free to appoint just one person (known as a ‘donee’) or you can appoint a few people (known as ‘donees’).
Your donee(s) will make decisions for you in two areas:
- Your personal wellbeing
- Your property, belongings, and other such matters
Picking your donee(s)
A donee will make all your decisions for you if you are not able to make them yourself.
You can pick more than one person to make these decisions. You are allowed to pick more than one donee if you feel you need more people to make decisions for you and your belongings.
As they will make and control all your decisions for you, it is very important to pick your donee(s) that you trust completely. You can ask others to help you appoint a donee(s), but in the end the decision is yours so pick very carefully.
Making an LPA
To make an LPA, there are 4 conditions that you must meet:
- You must be at least 21 years of age
- You must file your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) in Singapore
- You must not be mentally disabled when you make an LPA
- You must not be bankrupt
The person you pick to be your donee(s) must agree. If they do not, you will need to find someone else who agrees.
To apply, you (the donor) would need to:
- Complete the Lasting Power of Attorney form (there are 2 forms – Form 1 and Form 2 – which you pick depending on your needs) and get it signed by a certificate issuer who will act as your witness
- Complete the LPA Application Form
- Book an appointment to submit the application to OPG, bringing along the completed LPA form, the completed LPA Application Form, your original NRIC, and photocopies of your donee(s)’ NRIC(s) (front and back)
- Pay an application fee of $50 (if you use the OPG Form 1) – $200 (if you use the OPG Form 2)
Forms are available from: http://www.publicguardian.gov.sg/The-LPA/How-Can-I-Make-a-Lasting-Power-of-Attorney