The Lasting Power of Attorney - Why should we do it?
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), and why do I need it?
An LPA is an important and convenient legal tool that allows you to appoint a trusted person (or several) as donee(s) to act and make decisions on your behalf, in the event that you lose mental capacity one day. A donee can be appointed to act in the two broad areas of personal welfare and property & affairs matters.
Without an LPA, this process immediately becomes more difficult. Most may mistakenly believe that family members are automatically granted the right to make legal decisions on your behalf — but this is not the case.
Family members who are not appointed donees will likely face difficulties trying to make care arrangements, as well as manage bank accounts and properties.
They will have to apply to court to be legally appointed as your deputy, before they are allowed to make decisions and act on your behalf.
The deputyship application process takes much more time than the LPA application process, and will incur significant legal fees — both valuable resources that could be better spent on your care.
What are the benefits of an LPA?
Enables a person to make a personal, considered choice of a trusted proxy decision maker, who is reliable and competent to act in his/her best interests should he/she lose mental capacity one day.
Alleviates the stress and difficulties faced by loved ones who need to apply for a Deputyship order, if the person loses mental capacity without an LPA in place.
I have made a Will already, why do I need to make an LPA?
Yes, you should still make an LPA. Most people mistakenly believe that if they have drafted a will, an LPA is unnecessary.
In fact, an LPA takes effect in the event that the donor loses mental capacity, while a Will only operates after the donor’s death.
This is precisely why we advise you to do an LPA, in addition to your Will.
I’m only in my mid 20s or 30s, I’m still young, do I really need to make an LPA?
Yes! We strongly recommend you make an LPA. All you need to do is to find someone you trust to be your donee. Life is unpredictable, and you wouldn’t want your loved ones to suffer if you should lose your mental capacity to make decisions.
Where can I go, or who can I see to make an LPA?
Legal firms typically charge a range of fees, from $150 to $5000 to make an LPA.
Instead of engaging a lawyer, you could also visit an accredited medical practitioner or psychiatrist to witness and make your LPA.
Life is short and unpredictable. Make your Lasting Power of Attorney today!
Dr Lee Joon Loong
Diploma in Geriatric Medicine (Singapore) DFD (CAW)
LPA Accredited Medical Practitioner (Office of the Public Guardian) Medical Director, Paddington Medical