A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows an individual, who is aged 21 years of age and above, to plan for the management of his affairs should he become mentally incapacitated. Note that the LPA only has effect when the person making the LPA (Donar) becomes mentally incapacitated.

In the LPA, the donar appoints people to make decisions and act for him (known as the 'donees') if he loses his metal capacity.

Do I need a LPA if I already have a will?

Many people have prepared a will but did not realize the importance of a LPA. A will only operates if the person dies. The question is, what if he doesn't die but instead, lost mental capacity?

Alpha has gotten married recently and started a family. His wife, Zenia, gave birth to 2 children. Unfortnately, Alpha gotten into a car accident and suffered a major brain trauma. He has relied on life sustaining machines since. With heavy and accumulating hospital bills, Zenia has to withdraw monies from Alpha personal bank account. However, she faces a challenge because Alpha did not prepare a LPA. In this instance, she has to obtain a court order to administer the affairs of Alpha, who has lost mental capacity, which is timely and costly.

What are the powers of a donee?

1.  Make decisions on the donar's personal affairs and financial matters

2. Make decisions on the donar's property

However, there are certain statutory limitations of a donar listed under section 13 and 14 of the Mental Capacity Act

https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/MCA2008?ProvIds=pr13-,pr14-

1. A LPA is an affordable option. With our in house legally trained professionals, we can provide you professional opinions at an affordable rate. We listen attentively to your needs and help you in the planning phase meticulously

2. A LPA protects a donar. The LPA is not only for the elderly nor the sick. Life is unpredictable. Young, and otherwise healthy individuals can get incapacitated through accidents or sudden illnesses. Sudden stroke for instance, may cause an individual to lose mental capacities. During cases whereby an individual is reduced to vegetative stage or fell into a comatose, a LPA allows the donee to act on his behalf

3. A LPA can help your loved ones prevent costly and streneous court procedures. Imagine your loved ones having to cope with the situation you are in, and having to undergo through time consuming and expensive court procedures, when the resources could have been better allocated on taking care of you

4. A LPA will allow the donee to commence taking care of you faster, to make decisions on your behalf, and to allocate resources to better use

All LPA applications would need to be certified by a certificate issuer, who can either be a practising lawyer, a psychiatrist, or an accredited medical practitioner.

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James Wong

LLB(Hons) BL(London) LLM(Penn)

James Wong (JW) qualified as a Barrister (England) in 1996 and is admitted as an Advocate/Solicitor (Singapore) since 1999. He started his legal training in litigation and established his corporate career, initially in capital markets, and then practised financial restructuring in London as well as cross-border insolvency debt workouts with American whiteshoe firms.

JW served as member of SCCA's International Liaison subcommittee (2005-2011) and as its honorary auditor (2011-2012) appointed by the General Committee during his time as general counsel of Crescent group, a private equity investment fund manager.

JW has been recognised as Private Equity legal team-leader (2012), Corporate M&A JV Specialist (2013), Investment Funds Lawyer (2014) and Outstanding Corporate Lawyer (2015) by legal reporters & offshore publishers for the years he has returned to Singapore practice as a partner or in senior/director role of law firms.

JW now practises from Lex Advocatus which he founded from 2011 and corporatized as operational LLC in 2016. In span of over a year, he has garnered a local network of like minded lawyers in inter-firm alliances totalling more than 25 lawyers with varied practice areas and diverse capabilities, ready as supportive resource able to serve clients expediently.

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