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Why You Should Make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in Singapore

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and planning for the future involves preparing for situations where you might be unable to make your own decisions.

Whether you’re concerned about an unexpected illness, the challenges of aging, or simply want to ensure your loved ones have clarity and authority when it matters most, understanding what a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is and why you should consider one is an important step.

Let’s explore the essentials of an LPA and how it can serve as a safety net for your future.

What is an LPA?

In Singapore, an LPA is a legal document that allows an individual, known as the donor, to appoint one or more persons, referred to as donees, to make decisions on their behalf should they lose mental capacity. The donor must be at least 21 years old and can empower the donee(s) to act in two broad areas: personal welfare and/or property and affairs matters.

Benefits of having an LPA

Here are several key reasons why it’s important to consider setting up an LPA in Singapore:

Protection and control over financial decisions

An LPA helps prevent financial abuse or mismanagement when you can’t oversee your affairs personally. With an LPA, your donee gains the authority to manage your finances. This includes handling tasks like paying bills, managing investments, and ensuring your assets are well maintained. By appointing a trusted person as your donee, your financial matters are managed in your best interests.

Ensuring personal welfare decisions are respected

In addition to managing your finances, an LPA covers personal welfare decisions like living arrangements and healthcare. For instance, they can approve or refuse specific medical treatments based on your previously expressed wishes.

This feature of an LPA is crucial for upholding your dignity and ensuring your well-being is managed according to your standards and beliefs. By clearly specifying your wishes, you empower your donee to make the best decisions on your behalf and ensure that your personal needs will be handled with care.

Peace of mind for you and your family

Having an LPA provides significant peace of mind for you and your family. This relieves considerable emotional and psychological stress. It offers a sense of security and enables your family to support your needs when the unexpected happens.

For your loved ones, an LPA clarifies your wishes and grants your donee the legal authority to follow them. This reduces uncertainty and prevents potential family disputes over what’s best for you.

Read more: How to Get Support for Your Mental Health in Singapore

How much does it cost to make an LPA?

These fees vary based on the type of LPA, your residency status, and whether any cancellations occur. Let’s break down the costs so you can plan accordingly.

In Singapore, there are two forms of LPA: Form 1 and Form 2. Form 1 is generally straightforward and designed for those who wish to grant general powers with basic restrictions to their donees. Form 2 is more complex and allows for specific customisations.

98% of Singapore Citizens who have made an LPA used Form 1.

Table 1: LPA Application Fees

LPA Form 1 FeeLPA Form 2 Fee
Singapore Citizens$0 (fee of $70 waived until
31 March 2026)
$185
Singapore Permanent
Residents
$90$230
Foreigners$230$275

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has extended the fee waiver for LPA Form 1 applications for Singapore citizens until March 31, 2026. This is aimed at encouraging more Singaporeans to plan and apply for an LPA.

There may be circumstances where an LPA needs to be cancelled. The OPG charges a nominal fee for the cancellation process:

Table 2: Cancellation Fees

DescriptionFee (incl. GST)
Cancellation of registration of an LPA$30

All payments related to the LPA can be made through OPG Online (OPGO). Please note that as of now, cheque collection has ceased, and all financial transactions must be completed online.

For detailed guidance and to initiate your application or cancellation, visit OPG Online.

So, do you need an LPA?

Choosing whether to set up an LPA is a decision that can impact both your future welfare and finances. Let’s address some commonly asked questions to help you make an informed decision.

What is the difference between an LPA and a will?

An LPA and a will are both important legal documents, but they differ in purpose and timing.

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA): An LPA is active during your lifetime and takes effect if you lose mental capacity. It allows you to appoint someone to manage your health and financial affairs based on the specific powers you grant them. Essentially, it protects your interests while you are still alive but unable to make decisions for yourself.

Will: A will only takes effect after your death. It directs how your assets should be distributed to your beneficiaries. It ensures your estate is managed and divided according to your wishes after you have passed away.

At what age should I consider setting up an LPA?

There’s no set age to create an LPA since accidents or illnesses can strike at any time. However, it’s advisable to consider setting up an LPA as part of your financial planning. You can legally do this from age 21.

Can an LPA be revoked or amended?

Yes, an LPA can be revoked or amended. As long as you, the donor, still have the mental capacity, you can revoke or amend your LPA. To do so, you must inform the OPG about your intentions and complete the necessary procedures.

What happens if I don’t have an LPA and I become incapacitated?

In such cases, a family member or a close associate would have to apply to the court to be appointed as a deputy to make decisions for you. This process is time-consuming, stressful, and costly. Without an LPA, there is also no guarantee that the court-appointed deputy will make decisions as you might have wished. Therefore, having an LPA helps your specific preferences be known and respected to avoid unnecessary legal battles or family disputes.

Read more: Making a Will: What Is It, Why Is It Important, and What Happens When You Die

How to make an LPA

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the requirements and procedures for creating an LPA in Singapore.

*This pertains to a solicitor who is qualified to practise Singapore law within a Singapore law firm.

The requirements of a certificate issuer for your LPA

After filling out the chosen LPA form, you’ll need a certificate issuer to certify that you understand the implications of creating the LPA and that you’re doing so voluntarily. A certificate issuer must be one of the following:

  • An accredited medical practitioner (doctor)
  • A practising lawyer
  • A registered psychiatrist

Once the certification is done, you and your donee(s) can sign the LPA form.

Where to apply

To submit your LPA application, apply via the OPG online portal.

Taking the time to carefully choose your donee(s), select the appropriate form type, and have your application certified will help ensure your LPA is legally sound and meets your specific needs. It’s a proactive way to secure your future decision-making in trusted hands.

Read more: How to plan your estate to protect your family

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