A lasting power of attorney (or the “LPA”) is a document which allows an adult (i.e. someone who is at least 21 years of age) to voluntarily appoint another person (or persons) to make decisions on his behalf in matters of, among other things, personal welfare and/or property and affairs, in the event he or she loses his or her mental capacity.
While loss of mental capacity is often linked to age-related issues such as dementia, people of virtually any age can lose their mental capacity due to neurological diseases or accidents. Mental capacity may however only be assessed on a case-by-case basis and cannot be assumed based on a medical condition alone.
As in the case in wills, drawing up a lasting power of attorney is often thought about as one advances in years. As with most things, there is no hard and fast age at which one should consider these matters. We would therefore recommend that every person of age make an LPA as early as possible, while one is still mentally alert, lest a tragedy strikes and it becomes too late after one becomes mentally unsound.
Again, much like wills, the decision to sign an LPA is often not just for the benefit of oneself (i.e. since one can choose a trusted friend or advisor to make one’s decisions if the time comes), but to prevent one’s loved ones from being faced with the stress and difficulties that come with applying for a deputyship order if one loses mental capacity without an LPA in place.
Quite recently, the process involved in preparing an LPA has been greatly streamlined and simplified. You can now access an e-service portal (https://eservice-msf.msf.gov.sg/) which allows you to, among other things, prepare your LPA application and update your particulars online.
Please contact us if you need any assistance in preparing or certifying your LPA. We will be happy to guide you through the process.