For two more years, Singaporeans will enjoy lower costs in entrusting their health and finances to someone else if they lose their mental capacity.
The fee waiver for Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) applications, introduced in 2014, was yesterday extended until Aug 31, 2018.
Singaporeans will be able to file LPA Form 1 applications for free until this date, although they will still have to pay fees charged by professionals engaged to witness and certify the application, such as medical practitioners and lawyers.
The LPA is a legal document that allows a person aged at least 21 to appoint one or more people to take actions on his behalf should he lose the ability to make his own decisions, such as if he develops dementia.
Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said yesterday on the MSF Conversations blog: "We spend much of our lives planning for our future - from simple things like what to have for lunch, to more complex things like our career path or family planning.
"But what do we do when the unexpected happens? What if we are suddenly unable to make our own decisions or care for ourselves? It is a tough question that we all need to think about."
LPA applicants have two forms to choose from. Form 1 grants general powers and meets the needs of the vast majority of Singaporeans, said the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), while Form 2 accommodates special requirements and customised powers.
Fees continue to apply for Form 2 and for permanent residents and foreigners.
Besides the fee waiver, the LPA application process has been simplified. The Office of the Public Guardian, which administers the applications, has simplified the language and reduced the number of pages in the forms.
MSF said the fee waiver and simpler procedure have boosted the total number of LPA Form 1 and Form 2 applications by Singaporeans from 4,119 in 2014 to 8,478 in 2015.
Mr Tan said: "There's no harm in planning ahead for a rainy day. I encourage everyone to make a Lasting Power of Attorney early to give ourselves and our loved ones peace of mind in the event that the worst does happen."