SINGAPORE - Singaporeans who want to designate someone to make decisions on their behalf should they become mentally incapacitated can do so for free till March 31 next year.
The waiver of fees for lasting power of attorney (LPA) Form 1 applications has been further extended to March 31 next year, Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli has said.
From mid-2021, LPA applications can also be made and registered online as part of the overall digital transformation of the public service to better serve Singaporeans, Mr Masagos said in a written answer to MP Cheng Li Hui (Tampines) in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 6).
The fee waiver has been extended twice before - it was first introduced in September 2014 and extended in 2016 and 2018 to encourage more people to make such arrangements.
The 2018 extension started on Sept 1 and ended on Aug 31 this year, and in this period, about 42,000 Singaporeans registered LPAs. As of Aug 31 this year, 88,300 Singaporeans have registered LPAs.
There are two LPA forms.
Form 1 grants general powers to those acting on the mentally incapacitated person's behalf. To encourage more Singaporeans to make an LPA, the fee waiver for LPA Form 1 has been further extended to 31 March next year. Some 98 per cent of Singaporeans who made an LPA used Form 1.
Form 2 is for applicants who want to grant specific or customised powers to those who will make decisions for them and has to be drafted by a lawyer. The application fee for Form 2 is $200 for Singaporeans.
Since Jan 30 this year, the LPA forms have also been revised to make the application process easier and more convenient, said Mr Masagos.
"We have also worked to raise awareness in the community through outreach via Getai, radio advertising and community roadshows (before Covid-19). During the circuit breaker period, we conducted virtual talks to hospitals, participated in a virtual roadshow by the Council for Third Age, and are in talks with banks to conduct LPA webinars.
We are also working with community partners to enhance the accessibility and convenience of citizens in making an LPA application," said Mr Masagos.
For those who require some financial assistance to make an LPA, they can approach not-for-profit organisations who offer LPA certificate issuing services at subsidised rates. These not-for-profit organisations include Life Point, Potter's Place Community Services Society and Mount Alvernia Outreach Medical Clinic in Enabling Village.