The Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) is a legal document which allows a person who is 21 years of age or older (‘donor‘), to voluntarily appoint one or more persons (‘donee‘), to act and make decisions on his behalf as his proxy decision maker if he should lose mental capacity (eg. stroke, dementia, coma) one day. Donees can be appointed to cover two broad areas: personal welfare as well as property & affairs matters. A Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be used until it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
The Mental Capacity Regulations provide for two options of the LPA.
The first option (LPA Form 1) is the standard version that individuals use to grant general powers with basic restrictions to their donee(s). The form has been simplified to suit the majority so as to encourage more to make their LPAs. The application fee is $50 and can be waived on a case-by-case basis for those who cannot afford it. More than 95 per cent of people who make the LPA use this option.
The second option (LPA Form 2) is for those who have non-standard requirements and wish to grant customised powers to their donee(s). A lawyer is needed to draft the document. The application fee of $200 is higher as more resources are required to process the Form 2 to ensure it does not contain clauses that contravene the Mental Capacity Act, and that the donee(s) will be able to act on behalf of the individual should he lose his mental capacity.