Forum: Simplify LPA application process

Forms for the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) application. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

I am pleased to learn that the wavier of fees for Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) Form 1 applications has been extended to end-March next year (Fee waiver for LPA applications extended to March 2021, Oct 7).

While this may spur some to apply, I believe many more will do so if the process could be made even simpler and less cumbersome.

As it is, applicants have to seek an accredited certificate issuer from three groups of professionals: an accredited medical practitioner, a lawyer, or a psychiatrist to complete Form 1 (the most simple LPA).

While I understand this is to ensure an applicant does not make an LPA under pressure or duress, this actually discourages more from signing up. If we are allowed to craft our own will without lawyers and just have two disinterested persons to witness the signing of the will, I suggest this should also be the case for the LPA.

I understand that in certain jurisdictions, residents are already allowed to do this. Perhaps as a start, disinterested persons could be grassroots leaders in residents' committees or neighbourhood committees. If necessary, a half-day course could be sufficient to get these volunteers accredited to perform the role. A corollary benefit of this is it provides for more meaningful interactions among residents and grassroots leaders, which meets the objective of community engagement.

Hoe Lye Soon

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2020, with the headline Forum: Simplify LPA application process. Subscribe