Simpler, cheaper way to make a Lasting Power of Attorney

Singaporeans who wish to appoint someone to make financial and health decisions for them should they lose mental capacity, will find it easier and cheaper to do so from September. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Singaporeans who wish to appoint someone to make financial and health decisions for them should they lose mental capacity, will find it easier and cheaper to do so from September. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans who wish to appoint someone to make financial and health decisions for them should they lose mental capacity, will find it easier and cheaper to do so from September.

There will be a two-year waiver of the $50 registration fee, a revised application form that cuts down on legal jargon and the application can be sent through the post.

These tweaks to making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) was announced by Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing on Saturday at HDB Hub in Toa Payoh, after a visit to a workshop held for people that have been freshly appointed through LPA.

Mr Chan said he hopes more people will step forward to take advantage of the simpler process, and protect themselves from complications down the road.

"In an Asian society, some people think such topics are quite taboo. But our message is that we really never know when we need it, and don't leave it until it's too late," he said.

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has received 6,511 successful applications since it was set up in 2010. The majority are by people aged 56 to 70 years.

The waiver of the registration fees, in effect till Sept 1 2016, applies only to Singaporeans who register using Form 1.

More than 97 per cent of those who applied use this basic, standardised form.

Form 2, which is pricier at $200, is for those with larger, more complicated assets, and who wish to grant specific authorisation to their appointees.

Form 1 was simplified after public feedback, and cut by half from 15 pages to eight.

About one in five applications have been rejected since the start of this year due to gaps or mistakes in the forms.

LPA forms can be sent in through SingPost free of charge in September, but more details will be revealed at a later date.