SINGAPORE - Singaporeans who wish to appoint someone to make financial and health decisions for them should they lose mental capacity, will find it easier and cheaper to do so from September.
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Statement from Ministry of Social and Family Development:
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) announced that it will waive its $50 application fee for registration of the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for two years from 1 September 2014 for Singaporeans. At the same time, applications will be made easier with a simplified form and postal submission process.
Waiver of LPA Form 1 Application Fee
The LPA is a legal instrument, provided for under the Mental Capacity Act. It enables individuals to appoint a person(s) they trust to decide and act on their behalf if they should lose the capacity to make their own decisions.
To encourage more Singaporeans to plan ahead with an LPA to protect their own interest, the OPG will waive its $50 registration fee for LPA Form 1 applications for two years from 1st September 2014 for Singaporeans.
More than 97% of Singaporeans who register LPAs with the OPG use Form 1. They will benefit from this change.
With this move, applicants will only need to pay professional fees charged by LPA certificate issuers such as accredited general practitioners, lawyers, and psychiatrists, engaged to witness the LPA applications.
Simplified LPA Form
From 1st September 2014, the OPG will also introduce a simplified LPA Form 1. The revised form uses less legal and technical jargon to make it simpler to understand.
Information has been streamlined, and rarely used provisions have been removed from the form.
The simplified form was proposed by a committee chaired by retired High Court Judge Mr Goh Joon Seng. Members of the Committee include Public Guardian Board Members Mr Wong Meng Meng and Mr Ng Heng Fatt, Commissioner for the Maintenance of Parents Mr Khoo Oon Soo, and Professor of Law at Singapore Management University Professor Tang Hang Wu.
Mr Richard Magnus, Chairman of the Public Guardian Board said: "We thank the public for their feedback and suggestions regarding the form. The Committee has simplified the form without losing the legal essentials. Together with the waiver of the registration fees, it will make LPA applications more accessible for Singaporeans."
More convenient mode of LPA submission
From 1 September 2014, the OPG will also accept LPA applications via post. SingPost will provide free postal service for all LPA submissions via Business Reply Service for two years. "SingPost is pleased to support OPG's mission to encourage more Singaporeans to make their LPAs.
"I hope availing SingPost's service through its extensive postal network will provide a faster and more convenient mode for Singaporeans to submit their LPA applications." said Mr Lim Ho Kee, Chairman, SingPost.
Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Social and Family Development said: "The OPG has been actively reaching out to the public to create awareness of the LPA. I hope the initiatives announced today will encourage more Singaporeans to plan for their future with an LPA."