LPA Basics

What is a LPA in Singapore?

LPA is short for Lasting Power or Attorney.

LPAs came about in Singapore with the passing of the Medical Capacity Act (MCA) in 2010. Singapore’s MCA was modelled on the United Kingdom’s Mental Capacity Act 2005.

LPAs are legal documents created when a person over 21 (called a ‘donor’) appoints someone (called a ‘donee’ or ‘donees’) to make decisions and act on his/her behalf in case the donor loses mental capacity. The LPA may grant powers to act either for personal welfare or property matters or both.

Loss of mental capacity may occur through becoming afflicted by dementia or some other mental disability. It could also happen as a result of an accident eg a head injury suffered in a motor accident. If you make a LPA and you have a temporary loss of mental capacity it will allow your donee to do things for you until you recover your mental capacity.

What is a ‘normal’ or ‘ordinary’ Power of Attorney (POA)?

A person can give a general Power of Attorney (POA) to someone else to do certain acts on his or her behalf.

A common reason a person may appoint a POA could be pending overseas travel. Another could be that the person plans to work overseas for some time making it difficult to do something whilst away. A person may appoint a POA to rent out their home or sell their car for them.

Difference between a LPA and a POA?

The POA’s power to act starts immediately when the POA is signed. If you lose mental capacity or die and the person to whom you granted the POA is told of this he/she no longer can use the POA to act for you (unless the POA is an irrevocable POA).

With the LPA, a person (called the ‘donor’) gives the powers to one or more persons (called the ‘donee/s’) to act on his/her behalf if the donor loses mental capacity. The donee’s power to act comes becomes ‘actiive’ only if the donor loses mental capacity. The donee’s power to act ends if you regain mental capacity or die.

LPA vs Will

A Will sets out what your wishes are in the event of your death. A Will only has effect when you die.

The LPA gives the power to a person (called your ‘donee’) if you lose your mental capacity but do not die. However, the LPA cannot be used once the donor dies.

For more information please see: https://www.msf.gov.sg/opg/Pages/The-LPA-The-Lasting-Power-of-Attorney.aspx