Understanding LPAs

With a LPA you may appoint someone (called your ‘donee’) to manage your Personal Welfare or your Property and Affairs. Alternatively, your LPA can give BOTH Personal Welfare AND Property & Affairs powers to your donee.

Personal Welfare

What does Personal Welfare cover?

Giving someone powers to manage your Personal Welfare means that the person you appoint (called your ‘donee’) can:

  • Decide where you live
  • Make day to day decision about what you eat or wear
  • Handle your letters/mail/emails
  • Make decisions about your healthcare and medical treatment

If you don’t have a LPA these would be decisions usually made by a next of kin (eg spouse, parent, child). However, without a LPA if there is disagreement between your next of kin about decisions involving your personal welfare it may not be possible to come to any decision.

If you are unmarried, have no immediate family or next of kin then making a LPA appointing a donee to manage your Personal Welfare is even more important.

PLEASE NOTE: If your LPA gives Personal Welfare to a donee who is someone other than a next of kin then your donee rather than your next of kin can use the LPA to decide these matters instead of your next of kin.

Please consider if you need to give Personal Welfare powers in your LPA and if so please choose your donee carefully.

So, a married person may not want to give powers to manage Personal Welfare matters to a donee. If Personal Welfare powers are given a married person may want to appoint a spouse as the 1st donee and perhaps a child as the 2nd donee or replacement donee.

If you lose capacity, the last thing you want is to have your spouse told by a donee (who isn’t your spouse) that your donee rather than your spouse will be making decisions about where you live.

Property and Affairs

What does Property and Affairs cover?

Giving someone powers to manage your Property and Affairs means that person (called your ‘donee’) can:

  • Buy, sell, rent or mortgage your property
  • Operate your bank accounts and financial investments
  • Manage your CPF monies
  • Pay your household expenses
  • Purchase any equipment you may need

If you are married and all your assets are jointly owned with your spouse should you lose mental capacity your spouse can still manage your Property and Affairs as the joint owner. However your spouse would be unable to manage your CPF monies without a LPA.

Do I need to make a LPA?

If a married couple is in a car accident and one spouse dies and the other is in a coma what happens?

If that happens, the surviving spouse will not have anyone to manage his/herr affairs whilst still in a coma. If they have children no one can pay their children’s expenses.

This is why making a LPA is extremely important.

Giving someone powers to manage your Property and Affairs means that your donee can deal with your finances if both you and your spouse cannot do so.

If you are married you could appoint your spouse as the 1st donee and another person as the 2nd or replacement donee.