The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

Planning ahead to protect your interests .
How many of us know about this and its relevance to all aged citizens.
The Mental Capacity ACt which came into effect on 1March 2010 enables individual plan ahead and empowers them to appoint proxy decision makers to act on their behalf if they lose their mental capacity due dementia, stroke or an accident.

As a proactive safeguard, you can make a Lasting Poer of Attorney (LPA) to appoint a person to act on your behalf in the key araes of your personal welfare and financial matters.

I was told of a touching story from the Office of Public Guradian, a unit of Ministry of Social and Family development whereby
an individual who is lucky to do just that appointed a distanct relative he trusted while he is still sane.
When he suffered a severe storke and left paralayzed, he was able have good medical care arrangement through this relative holding the power of attorney to act on his best interest over his closest relatives who are only keen to see him gone and divided up his assets.

It is a simple one or 2 page form to be filled and lodged with the Office of the Public Guardian. I can give a talk and benefit only a handful who turned up. But I hope among the thousands of SHC members out there reading this, it can be usefu to your situation.


9 thoughts on “The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

  1. Hi Leon and members who have done a LPA,

    Can you share how much it costs to get a lawyer to do a LPA, and how long does it take?

    Who keeps the LPA?

    Terence Seah

  2. Hi Terence

    I may be able to help in answering some of your questions.

    a) How much does it cost to get a lawyer to do an LPA?
    You do not need to use a lawyer unless you have special instructions that you be included in the LPA. If you are using the starndard form to nominate a Donee or several Donees (upto max of 5 persons), you can go to one of the panel of doctors approved by the Office of the Public Guardian. The Doctor witness your signature and the signature of the Donee(s) and the prescribed fee was $100 in 2012. Not sure if it has been revised. Obviously, the lawyer would charge more, depending on the compexity of your special requirements. I had mine done for free by a lawyer friend.

    b) How long does it take to get LPA approved?
    It took about two months for mine.

    c) Who keeps the LPA?
    After it is registered with the Office of Public Guardian, the original copy is sent back to me for safe-keeping.

    The best place to get any questions answered is the Office of the Public Guardian under the Ministry of Community Develoopment, Youth & Sports. They conduct talks regularly. Anyone interested can go an attend these free talks.

    Barbara Lim

  3. Hi Terence,
    To answer your question partially:
    You dont need a lawyer if it is a simple LPA. For more complicated requirement, yes you will need a lawyer. legal fee vary depending on which firm you used.

    Filling the form is simple but it does take a mandatory 6 waiting months period for it to be registered while waitng for any objection and investigation

    The LPA I believed is lodged with the Office of Public Guardian.

    Please click this link below to find out more on this Letter of Power of Attorney.

    You can write to them for further advice.

    I have pasted a portion of the news herein.
    Lasting Power of Attorney
    LPA is a new legal document which allows a person who is 21 years of age or older (known as the donor), and who has mental capacity, to voluntarily appoint one or more persons (known as the donee[s]) that he trusts to act and make decisions on his behalf if he lacks mental capacity in the future.

    An LPA takes effect when the donor loses mental capacity. A donee steps in only when the person has lost mental capacity.

    The LPA allows for a person to plan for a possible future occurrence where he/she may lose his/her mental capacity.

    There are two prescribed LPA forms. If the donor wishes to give his donee(s) powers to decide on all matters for him, he may use the LPA Form 1, which is available at OPG (Office of the Public Guardian) or which can be downloaded from If the donor has more requirements to be included in his LPA, he should consult a lawyer to make the LPA, using LPA Form 2.

    This is a very useful service if your situation warrant it.


  4. There is an article in the yesterday Strait Time 1st September on this topic. It recount a family 2 years delay in getting the court order to act to inheirt and distribute their parents asset after they passed away because of not making the LPA.

    To encourage the elderly to register for the LPA, the governing body is waiving the S$50 registration fee for the basic form if it is done within two months. I did not
    remember the deadline because I am aging too.


  5. Hi Leon or fellow members,

    Following Leon’s comments, can you or anybody share your knowledge about LPA and wills. If you can, we would like to invite you to share your knowledge with fellow members at one of our monthly gatherings.

    Finding a place is always an issue, and whether we can get appropriate sound equipment and help. Let us know if you can participate.

    And, members, if you like to listen to a fellow member talk about LPA, do let us know on this forum. This will help us decide how far we can go with planning such an activity.

    Terence Seah

  6. Terence,
    I cannot consider myself to be the EO or the EC. The organiser is Office of the Public Guardian, a government agency.

    I am just dissemminating information of these free talk on the topic.


  7. A personal opinion…
    The LPA was conceived to allow an individual to have his wishes carried out in the event the individual becomes senile. Yet the LPA is not foolproof. It was abused by a tour guide from China who got a wealthy old widow to name him as the executor of her estate in her LPA. We all know how he lived like a king with her money and the old lady, now senile, is unaware her wealth has been systematically depleted by that person she gave the power of attorney to!

    Perhaps it’s better to let SEVERAL relatives/all the children and/or friends know your wishes – e.g how you would like to be looked after and also let them know you are bequeathing some/most of your estate to charity. You could be bluffing, but you might be able to see the true colours of some relatives and friends. It’s sad to resort to this tactic, though :( ?

  8. Such episodes happen everywhere every day, albeit at a much smaller scale. A lonely wealthy old man has a young foreign lady who takes good care of him. When he passes on, a good part of his money is intended for the lady. Naturally, people will point a finger at the lady, saying she is “only after the old man’s money”. This can only be a case by case conclusion. On one extreme we do have kind hearted maids and on the other female “Casanovas”. In any case, we must acknowledge the fact that the old man would certainly enjoy a few good years of his remaining life, perhaps the happiest moments in his entire life. He knows he cannot bring his money to the grave.

    Or should he live his life to the last in solitaire and seclusion, while his money is left unscathed for his next of kin to claim? It is easy for moralists and purists to give a verdict, because they are not in the shoes of the old man (or woman).


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