Ms Joan Pereira asked the Minister for Social and Family Development whether the Ministry will consider sending a letter in the four official languages to all seniors aged 60 years and above to encourage them to make a Lasting Power of Attorney and also to inform them the steps they need to take to make one.
Mr Liang Eng Hwa asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what is the current number of Singaporeans who have registered a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) since the establishment of the Office of the Public Guardian; (b) whether there are plans to assist more Singaporeans to register for a LPA through the new digital process, especially the seniors; and (c) whether there can be more non-digital ways made available to help seniors sign up.
Ms Denise Phua Lay Peng asked the Minister for Social and Family Development in view of the digitisation of the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) application process from 14 November 2022, how can non-tech-savvy applicants be further assisted with their LPA applications as they may be less likely to tap on the new online LPA application portal.
Ms Ng Ling Ling asked the Minister for Social and Family Development since the extension of the fee waiver for Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) Form 1 application for Singapore citizens (a) how many applications have been made with the fee waiver; (b) what is the target number of LPA applications that the Ministry aims to achieve by the end of this fee waiver period on 31 March 2023; (c) whether the fee waiver strategy has been effective in encouraging more LPA applications; and (d) what other initiatives will be considered to encourage Singapore citizens to plan for the long-term and apply for a LPA.
1. We have stepped up efforts to increase awareness and take up of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) over the years.
Ensuring affordability of LPAs via fee waiver
2. First, we waive the $75 application fee for filing an LPA. We have seen a significant increase in LPA registrations since its introduction. In 2013, around 2,200 Singaporeans registered an LPA. In 2021, over 32,000 did so. Nearly 95% of the 153,000 Singaporeans who have registered their LPAs, benefitted from the fee waiver.
Simplifying the LPA application process
3. Second, we will be launching a new Office of Public Guardian Online (or OPGO) e-service on 14 November 2022, so that it is easier to make an LPA. In designing the e-service, we paid extra attention to seniors and those less comfortable with technology. Hence, the application form will be an easy questionnaire that guides the user in creating his or her LPA. Instructions are in plain English and are also available in the other official languages. Additionally, users can view step-by-step instructional videos in the four official languages and Quick Reference Guides to help them navigate the e-service. We have tested the service with older users, who reported they were confident to use it.
4. The Office of the Public Guardian is also working with partners to provide help at convenient locations. Residents who prefer in-person assistance can approach ServiceSG Centres, CitizenConnect Centres,, and the Office of the Public Guardian. Officers there will be able to help them with the online LPA application. Staff at other community touchpoints – such as Senior Activity Centres, restructured hospitals and Nursing Homes – will also be able to provide advice to residents.
Raising awareness on the importance of pre-planning
5. Finally, we will be stepping up efforts to help Singaporeans appreciate the importance of pre-planning. The Office of the Public Guardian and the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) will run a publicity and outreach campaign from 2023 to 2025 to encourage Singaporeans – especially those aged 50 and above – to make their LPAs and Advance Care Plans. The outreach will involve Silver Generation Ambassadors. We are happy to work with Members to promote this to their residents. We will consider how a letter-mailing exercise can be carried out in a costeffective way, perhaps riding on other regular mail correspondence that the Government already sends to residents.
6. Family members will also be vital channels of outreach. Whether as a spouse, child, or grandchild, we should encourage our loved ones to make their LPAs early, so that they are better prepared should they lose their mental capacity one day.