Everlasting Power of Attorney: MSF Suggests On-line System, Singapore Information & High Tales

Individuals who want to create a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can do so more easily as the process is to be digitized with better fraud protection.

The Department of Social and Family Development (MSF) proposed amendments to the Mental Performance Act in parliament on Monday to allow LPAs to be created electronically as part of the government’s efforts to digitize and make Singaporeans more comfortable.

The draft law will be discussed in the next session in parliament.

If you want to do an LPA, you can use Singpass to register with a new electronic system, the Office of the Public Guardian Online (OPGO). The donor can create the LPA form 1 online and provide information about the recipient and the authorizations to be granted. Under the new system, donors and recipients do not have to meet in person.

Participants will receive an SMS or email notification after which they can log into OPGO via Singpass to accept the LPA without the need for a witness or red seal. Once the recipient has accepted, the donor visits the certificate issuer – a Public Guardian accredited doctor, practicing attorney, or registered psychiatrist – to digitally sign the LPA before the issuer certifies and submits it on behalf of the donor through OPGO.

The new system is expected to reduce the processing time for an LPA from an average of three weeks to eight working days, with the exception of a mandatory waiting period of three weeks.

The creation and submission of an LPA in paper form is still permitted in exceptional circumstances if the donor or recipient is unable to create the LPA with OPGO or to digitally sign it.

The move to electronic filing of LPAs is due to global movement restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and a steady increase in the number of LPAs registered here from 2,681 in 2014 to 21,552 last year.

Addressing concerns about Singaporeans who do not have digital skills, MSF said it will reach users in need through Citizen Connect Centers – in community centers across the island – and the Integrated Public Service Center in our Tampines Hub. Staff at these community touchpoints are trained to help people with difficulty using OPGO create their LPAs electronically.

Other measures to make the platform more accessible include videos that help users create an LPA, prompts in the four official languages ​​and a text-to-speech function for users with visual impairments. MSF said social services will also be included in the process.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s senior advisor, Habeebul Rahman Sahul Hameed, who issues a certificate, said the new system would reduce paperwork and the need to stick to LPA’s paper.

“There is only one face-to-face meeting where the donor meets the certifier to sign their LPA. The certifier will continue to ensure that the donor has the mental capacity to create the LPA and understands the implications of an LPA.” he said.

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