This guide briefly deals with some issues clients often raise concerning their Lasting Power of Attorney. Your Lasting Power of Attorney is a powerful document and therefore it is important that you obtain legal advice from a lawyer. With our experience in dealing with the Office of Public Guardian, we are able to guide you through the necessary forms.
Who are the people most affected?
The population is getting older all the time. People are living longer and they need to be cared for. This places an increasingly heavy burden on the community as well as on the individuals who have to care for the needs, both emotional and physical, of the frail and elderly among us.
Around 10% of the Singapore population is at or above the age of retirement. Many of them are fit and healthy and capable of looking after themselves, but illness and accident can happen at any time and to anyone of any age when least expected.
Ageing is expected in any population and looking after elderly relatives is only one part of this community wide problem. People of any age who are rendered unable to look after themselves properly as a result of disease or accident will also need help and assistance with their money and belongings, as well as their well-being and healthcare.
How can a Lasting Power of Attorney help me?
The Lasting Power of Attorney was introduced in Singapore in March 2010. There are two types of decision-making powers granted in a Lasting Power of Attorney – (1) the Personal and Welfare “power” which allows a person to hand over the decision-making powers with regard to their healthcare to a responsible person of their choosing and (2) the Property and Affairs “power” which allows a person to hand over the decision-making powers with regard to their property and affairs to a responsible person of their choosing.
Why should I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney allows a person to have control over whom they wish to have appointed as the person who makes decisions on their behalf with regards to their personal welfare and health situation, as well as with regard to matters concerning their property and personal affairs. A person’s lawyer may also be appointed as professional Donee if desired.
What could happen if I don't make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If you do not make a Lasting Power of Attorney and set out what should happen if you become incapacitated, or when you become too old to manage, the Court will step in and do this for you. This can be both costly and time consuming.
Do you have any advice for me?
We all like to be in control for as long as we possibly can. The thought of growing old and having things done for us that we may or may not agree with is a worry. It doesn’t have to be like that. You can stay in control. You can choose who will take care of you and also who will look after your property and affairs.
The Lasting Power of Attorney is not all about delegating power. They allow you to state the limits of the powers too. In this way you have a high level of control that allows you to plan your future accurately to your satisfaction.
In essence, this is what a Lasting Power of Attorney is designed to do for you.
ISSUES TO CONSIDER
Issues to consider for making your Lasting Power of Attorney:
- Who do you wish to be your Donee?
- If your Donee is unable to act, do you want to appoint a replacement Donee?
- Do you want more than one Donee/replacement Donee?
- Do you want your Donees to act together or together and independently?
- Do you know your Donee’s full name and address?
- Do you want people to be notified when the Lasting Power of Attorney is registered?
The information contained here is only intended to provide general information on the subject covered. Nothing in this publication should be regarded as constituting legal advice concerning any particular business, operational or other situations with which you might be faced. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly. Please seek professional advice before taking any action.
Chris Chua & Associates LLC
Chris Chua & Associates LLC is a limited liability law corporation with unique entity number: 201826324Z and regulated by the Ministry of Law, Singapore, license number: LSRA/LLC/2018/00019. Its registered office and principal place of business is at 138 Robinson Road, #10-04 Oxley Towers, Singapore 068906.
Based in Singapore, we advise both local and international clients who wish to expand and preserve their business interests and wealth. Our Firm has assisted corporations in establishing and structuring new investments and business ventures in different sectors. We think beyond obvious legal issues and come up with pragmatic solutions to challenging commercial problems.