1 The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has extended the fee waiver for Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) Form 1 applications by Singapore Citizens until 31 August 2020. This move is intended to encourage more Singaporeans to plan ahead with an LPA to safeguard their interests and attain peace of mind for the future.
2 The fee for LPA Form 1 applications was first waived in 2014. The waiver was subsequently extended until 31 August 2018, allowing Singapore Citizens to submit their LPAs without paying the $75 application fee. The waiver has now been extended for two more years with effect from 1 Sep 2018. Fees for LPA Form 2 applications and application fees paid by Permanent Residents and Foreigners remain unchanged. Details on the current fee table are in Annex A.
3 Minister for Social and Family Development, Mr Desmond Lee said, "An ageing population and rising prevalence of dementia means that there may be more people losing mental capacity. We see more Singaporeans recognising the importance of planning ahead with an LPA, as we work to make the application process more accessible and affordable. With this fee waiver extension, I urge all Singaporeans, young and old, to consider making an LPA and to do so early for better peace for mind."
4 LPA Applicants will have to pay the professional fees charged by LPA certificate issuers to witness and certify the LPA application. This can be done by accredited medical practitioners, lawyers and psychiatrists. Certificate issuing is an important safeguard to ensure the donor has mental capacity to make an LPA, and is not being forced to make one under pressure or duress. The fees charged depends on the complexity of each case. Members of the public are encouraged to check with a certificate issuer on his professional charges. The 10 most visited accredited medical practitioners charge fees between $25 to $80, with most charging $50 for the certificate issuing service.
5 Member of the public can visit www.publicguardian.gov.sg for more information on the LPA and the application process.
LPA Application Fee Table (with effect from 1 September 2018)
||LPA Form 1 Fee (incl. GST)
||LPA Form 2 Fee (incl. GST)
| Singapore Citizens
|| $0 (Fee of $75 waived for another 2 years until 31 August 2020)
| Singapore Permanent Residents
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) was enacted in 2008 to protect the welfare and interests of individuals who lack mental capacity. The MCA enables individuals 21 years old and above to appoint donees in a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to make decisions on their behalf and act in their best interests should they lose mental capacity one day.
Donees can be appointed to act in either of two broad categories - personal welfare and property & affairs matters, or both. All LPAs must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The MCA also provides safeguards to protect persons without mental capacity. More information can be found at www.publicguardian.gov.sg.
2. How many people have applied for LPAs so far?
As 31 March 2018, more than 43,000 people have submitted LPA applications to OPG.
3. What other efforts are there to make the LPA more accessible and affordable?
In addition to the fee waiver, the LPA Form 1 was also simplified in 2014 to make applying for an LPA easier and more affordable. The number of pages and use of legal and technical jargon in the LPA Form 1 was reduced.
These efforts lead to a 55 per cent increase in the unique number of LPAs received by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) from 1 Sep 2016 to 31 Aug 2017, compared to the same period in the year before. OPG now receives a monthly average of 1,500 LPAs in 2018 compared to around 50 when OPG first started in 2010.
Given the positive response, OPG has extended the fee waiver until 31 August 2020 to encourage even more to plan ahead with an LPA. OPG will continue to look into making the LPA more accessible and affordable.
4. Why are only the fees for LPA Form 1 for Singapore citizens waived?
The fundamental guiding principle in the fee waiver is to make the LPA Form 1 more accessible and affordable for all Singapore Citizens. Currently, more than 95 per cent of donors are Singaporeans.
The LPA Form 1 allows donors to grant general powers with basic restrictions to donees. LPA Form 2 is for donors who wish to grant customised and specific powers to their donees, and has to be drafted by a lawyer.
LPA Form 1 meets the needs of the vast majority of Singaporeans. Based on OPG's records, 98 per cent of Singaporeans who have made an LPA used LPA Form 1.
5. Why do LPA applicants need to pay a certificate issuing fee?
The certificate issuing fee is a professional fee that LPA certificate issuers such as accredited medical practitioners, psychiatrists and lawyers charge to witness and certify the LPA application. This is a critical safeguard under the Mental Capacity Act to ensure that the donor has mental capacity to make an LPA, and is not being forced to make one under pressure or duress.
The ten most visited medical practitioners accredited by the OPG charge from $25 to $80, with most charging around $50. There are also non-profit organisations such as Life Point, Mount Alvernia Outreach Clinic @ Enabling Village, and Potter's Place Community Services Society that charge subsidised rates to the lower income and elderly.
More information on LPA certificate issuers is on www.bit.ly/LPACertificateIssuers.
6. Will the fee waiver apply to those looking to engage professional donees?
The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2016 introduced the roles of professional deputies and donees to enhance support for persons in the community with little or no family support. It allows for specified groups of professionals to perform this role for a fee. A professional donee is appointed by an individual before he has lost mental capacity.
The Professional Deputies and Donees scheme is expected to be rolled out by the end of 2018. More details on when members of the public can engage the services of professional donees will be shared in due course. Singapore citizens who engage the services of a professional donee through an LPA Form 1 will be eligible for the application fee waiver until 31 August 2020.