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Singapore Government

Mental capacity/health media queries

Mental capacity/health media queries

Published On
09 Nov 2012
  1. Query on elderly parents looking after mentally disabled children

    Reply from MSF Spokesperson
    Issued on 9 November 2012

    According the Mental Capacity Act, parents can go the court and appoint themselves as deputies so they can act and decide on behalf of their children. The Act also allows them to appoint successor deputies to ‘take over’ their role in the event they should pass away. 

    Parents can also set up trust funds with Special Needs Trust Co to ensure that the financial needs of their children are take care of:
  2. Query on the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

    Reply from Office of Public Guardian Spokesperson
    Issued on 4 October 2011

    How does one go about making an LPA?
    OPG: To make an LPA, an individual has to meet a few requisites: 
    • Be at least 21 years old
    • Possess mental capacity and
    • Is not an undischarged bankrupt.

    An individual who wishes to make an LPA (‘donor’) must first consider who he wishes to appoint as his proxy decision maker(s), (‘donee’). The donee will make decisions and act on his behalf in the event the individual loses his mental capacity. 

    The donor needs to fill up an LPA form which will have to be signed by his appointed donee(s). The LPA Form will also have to be signed by a ‘certificate issuer’ who can be any practising lawyer, psychiatrist or an accredited medical practitioner (list of accredited medical practitioner can be found on OPG’s website).

    The role of the certificate issuer is to certify that the donor knows the scope and implications of making an LPA and is not doing one under duress or undue influence. 

    Once these are completed, the LPA form has to be submitted to the OPG for registration. 

    Does one have to get a lawyer to do so? Will a lawyer be provided by the OPG should the individual walk into the office?
    OPG: The donor has to approach a certificate issuer (any practising lawyer, psychiatrist or an accredited medical practitioner) directly themselves. 

    What sort of investigations does the OPG do before approving of the person picked to have the LPA?
    OPG: The OPG will check to ensure that the LPA application form is duly completed and signed by a certificate issuer when it is submitted for registration.
  3. Query on challenges face by the Office of Public Guardian and future plans

    Reply from Office of Public Guardian Spokesperson
    Issued on 4 October 2011

    What are the difficulties and challenges OPG has faced for the past one year? 
    OPG: Public education was key in the first year of OPG’s operation to create awareness of the new Mental Capacity Act and its benefits among Singaporeans. Outreach platforms included public talks, Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) workshops, seminars, participation at grassroots events as well as media publicity. Educating Singaporeans about the Mental Capacity Act and the benefits of pre-planning through an LPA is a first step. Encouraging Singaporeans to make proactive decisions in managing their frailty and vulnerability calls for mindset change. Responses so far suggest that more Singaporeans are taking active steps to pre-plan to manage the uncertainties of life. 

    What are the areas and improvements that OPG is working on currently to improve the work process? Could you please provide some examples? 
    OPG: Continuous improvement will be key for OPG to facilitate those who wish to pre-plan through making an LPA. Therefore, we will continue to work towards increasing access to certificate issuers and simplifying the LPA registration process further. In this regard, we will also continue to stay engaged with stakeholders to ensure that the Act will better serve the needs of Singaporeans. 

    What are the plans next?
    OPG: As these are still early days of the Act, public education will continue to be one of the key focus areas for the OPG so that more Singaporeans can come to learn about the benefits of pre-planning through the LPA. We hope to achieve greater reach through media platforms. For example, we are running a radio campaign in the month of September to create awareness of the Act. OPG targets to reach out to various strata and segments of Singaporeans including the elderly, working adults, retirees and even the younger set through tertiary institutions etc.
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