The importance and value of making a will is widely accepted and well-documented. We all understand that it makes sense to express your wishes when you’re still of sound mind and not under duress, so that your intent can be carried out when you’re no longer around.
However, what happens in the event something unfortunate were to befall you, but you’re not quite dead? Surely you would still want all your assets to be managed by a trusted party, who can also take steps to protect your portfolio’s value.
Your assets can then be used to sustain your treatment, or ensure your existing liabilities continue to be serviced, without having to trouble your loved ones. This is how a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can be helpful in giving you peace of mind.
Here’s how a LPA works and how it can help you.
What Is A Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA)?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legally-binding document that empowers someone you trust to manage your financial affairs for you (including your assets) in the event you lose the ability to do so for yourself.
LPAs in Singapore are administered by the Office of the Public Guardian.
Without an LPA, your loved ones will need to undergo the long, troublesome and expensive process of applying to the court to allow your financial and personal affairs to be managed on your behalf.
An LPA is a logical component of a holistic estate planning process, complementing an Advance Medical Directive and existing will.
Eligibility To Make A Lasting Power Of Attorney
According to the Office of the Public Guardian, if you want to make an LPA, you must fulfil the following criteria:
– You must have the mental capacity to make the LPA
– Your donee(s) that you wish to appoint to act on your behalf must be willing
– Both you and your done(s) must be at least 21 years old and not be an undischarged bankrupt for LPAs for property and -personal affairs.
For your LPA to be legally valid, you also need to register your LPA with the Office of Public Guardian.
Lasting Power Of Attorney: Form 1 Or Form 2?
When deciding to make an LPA, one of the decisions you need to make is whether to do use “Form 1” or “Form 2” for your LPA.
Form 1 is the most common and “default” type of LPA, giving the donee you trust wide powers to act on your behalf. On the other hand, Form 2 requires a lawyer to be draft the exact scope that you wish to grant your donee to perform on your behalf.
How To Submit A LPA Application
Step 1: Find a trusted, eligible person who is willing to serve as your done
Step 2: Complete Form 1 or Form 2, including signatures from you and donee
Step 3: Get your LPA signed-off by a LPA certificate issuer, who can be an accredited medical practitioners, lawyer or psychiatrist.
Step 4: Submit your application and accompanying documents to the Office of Public Guardian. If no valid objections are received in the next six weeks, your LPA will then be registered and be legally-recognised.
There’s No Better Time To Make An LPA Than Now
The fact that you’re reading this article shows that you have sufficient mental capacity. If you haven’t made an LPA, we hope that we’ve convinced you of their importance.
As an additional bonus, fees for making an LPA have been waived until end-August 2020.
There really isn’t a better time to set up an LPA than right now.
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