1. To make it more convenient for Singaporeans to make a Lasting Power of Attorney1 (LPA), the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has made several changes to the process of registering an LPA.
2. The changes are elaborated below.
3. Under the Mental Capacity Act, there is a current mandatory waiting period of 6 weeks following the acceptance of an LPA application by the OPG, during which the donor and/or the donee(s) can withdraw the application. If no objections are received within this stipulated period, and the LPA is in order, the OPG will proceed to register the LPA.
4. For LPA applications received by OPG from 1 August 2019, this mandatory waiting period for the LPA will be reduced from six weeks to three weeks. This reduces the overall time required to make an LPA, while still ensuring sufficient time for valid objections to be raised.
5. Under the current process, the OPG returns the registered original hardcopy LPA to the applicant, which can be either the donor or donee(s), after it has been registered. A donee would need to produce this original document to the relevant institutions in order to perform a transaction on the donor’s behalf, after the donor has lost mental capacity.
6. For LPAs received by OPG from 1 August 2019, applicants can access their registered LPA electronically via OPG’s online portal. This allows applicants to easily access and share their LPA with relevant third parties (e.g. banks, healthcare institutions, other government agencies), without the need for a physical hardcopy.
7. Amendments to the First Schedule of the Mental Capacity act and the Mental Capacity Regulations 2010 were gazetted on 19 July 2019, and will come into operation on 1 August 2019.
1 A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows a person who is at least 21 years of age (‘donor’), to voluntarily appoint one or more persons (‘donee(s)’), to make decisions and act on his/her behalf should he/she lose the capacity to make his own decision. A donee is appointed by a donor to make decisions about the donor’s personal welfare and/or property & affairs.