Courts assess deputy applications carefully

We refer to the letter from Miss See Swee Tin (Onerous application process to be deputy to mentally challenged sister; Forum Online, July 4).

We would like to clarify that Miss See's application to act as a deputy to her mentally challenged sister has not failed.

It was adjourned to address concerns with the application. As the matter is currently before the court, we are unable to comment on the application at length.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Family Justice Courts are committed to making the process of deputyship application easier for applicants.

This has to be balanced against ensuring that the powers requested by the deputy applicant are in the best interests of the person with intellectual disability.

Procedures are in place to minimise the risk of appointing an unsuitable person who might misuse his powers and take advantage of the mentally incapacitated person.

The majority of deputyship applications are completed within three months.

The court filing fees for a typical deputyship application are between $200 and $300, excluding lawyers' fees and other charges which may be incurred by an applicant.

Applicants who require legal or financial assistance may approach the government aid agencies or voluntary organisations.

Chia Wee Kiat

Registrar

Family Justice Courts

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2017, with the headline 'Courts assess deputy applications carefully'. Print Edition | Subscribe