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ENGELIN TEH PRACTICE LLC

Lasting Power of Attorney exp

Is especially designed for the elderly, who may (in time) lose small or major parts of their mental capabilities. Before this happens, anyone may appoint a person to make decisions on their behalf should the donor lose these capacities.


LPA_Long

We all know that we should write a will, but too few of us know we should also consider something called lasting power of attorney.

By 2030, nearly 100,000 people in Singapore will have dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Society. One in five people over 85 already suffers from it, with rates significantly higher among women than men. Handling your financial affairs becomes virtually impossible – which is why charities who care for the elderly recommend everyone plans ahead to ease the potential burden on our relatives.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) gives another individual the legal authority to look after specific aspects of your financial affairs or health and welfare should you lose the capacity to do so. It's not just for the elderly; younger people may become incapacitated through accident or illness.

If you do not have an LPA in place and later become mentally incapacitated, relatives may face long delays and considerable costs in applying to the Family Court to get access and take control of your assets and finances.

LPAs are designed to be recognised by financial institutions, care homes and local authorities, as well as tax, benefits and pension authorities. They are legal documents that can be set up relatively cheaply, with or without the help of a solicitor. You may consider having one alongside your will.

A person administering a property and financial affairs LPA can make decision on things such as buying and selling your property, dealing with your bills, running your bank accounts and investing your money.

You may choose anyone you trust as your attorney, provided they are over 21, not bankrupt and they are willing to take on the role, which is a serious responsibility. It is their duty to make all decisions in your best interests.

LPA steps from Straits Times 2015

To protect your interests, an LPA must be signed by a certificate provider – a solicitor or someone else of your choosing – who certifies that you understand the LPA and have not been pressurised into signing it. You could choose close friends or relatives (other than your chosen attorneys) who must be formally told that you are setting up an LPA and given the opportunity to raise any concerns.

Forms and guidance are free and can be downloaded from www.publicguardian.gov.sg

Costs:

Registering the Form-1 document is simple as our firm will only act as the “certificate provider”. This may cost no more than S$ 500. However, in case you require specific instructions that need legal verification, the costs can be higher (this Form-2 document is much more complex).

Our lawyers, Andrew Ho or Jenson Lee Xiancong have done LPA’s and they can assist you in filling in the forms but also in giving you guidance in the process so that you feel confident about your decisions. It is important to remember that an LPA is a serious, powerful document so, if in doubt, ensure that you are properly represented by a legal firm which you can trust.

 

 


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