In an effort to encourage residents to prepare legal documents that will help protect their assets in the event of a loss of mental capacity, or death, the North East Community Development Council (CDC) is subsidising low-income residents.
The CDC also launched the Life Centre @ North East yesterday to make it more convenient for residents to draw up their will and Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), a legal document which enables someone to appoint a person to make decisions on his behalf should he lose his mental capacity.
The centre, which is located at the Tampines Central Community Club, will open on Nov 9. It will operate once a week on Fridays from 3pm to 8pm.
The services will be provided by North East CDC's legal service provider, Fortis Law, and will be priced lower than the market rate. According to North East CDC, the market rate for will-writing is priced from $99 onwards.
The North East CDC will further subsidise low-income residents who earn a monthly income of less than $1,100.
For those earning $650 or less, preparing a will and the LPA will be free. Those earning above $650 up to $800 will have to pay $40 for a will and $25 for an LPA, while those earning above $800 up to $1,100 will have to pay $56 and $35 respectively.
Mayor of North East District Desmond Choo, who officiated the launch of the Life Centre @ North East yesterday, said: "Many residents put off making LPAs and wills. They are worried about the complexity and costs. Yet, in our ageing society, such legal instruments are more essential than ever."
One of the residents who signed up to prepare both a will and an LPA is Mr Lim Aik Hwa.
The 54-year-old works in the food and beverage sector and earns $1,200 a month.
He told The Straits Times that he made the decision because he wants to ensure his assets go to his two daughters if anything happens to him. Said Mr Lim: "You do not know when you might fall ill or meet with an accident. Life is unpredictable, and no one knows what tomorrow will bring."