What in the event you lose your psychological capability and not using a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?


1. Some of us know the importance of an LPA and how this tool helps protect the donor’s interests in the event that the donor loses mental capacity.

2. But what if a person loses mental capacity before they manage to prepare for an LPA?

3. The following are the issues you should consider.

What is an LPA?

4. Under the Mental Capacity Act (“MCA”), individuals who wish to prepare advance plans for themselves can do so through a legal document called the “Lasting Power of Attorney” (LPA). An LPA enables the person (donor) to appoint an agent (recipient) to act on their behalf or make decisions on matters affecting their personal well-being and / or property and finances.

What if there is no LPA and a person (“P”) loses mental capacity?

5. If a person is losing mental capacity and there is no LPA, family members can apply to the family court to appoint a deputy. Similar to an LPA, an alternate may be empowered by the court to make decisions about P’s personal well-being and / or property and finances.

Court appointed deputyship

Under what circumstances will there be an alternate appointed by the court?

6. A deputy is appointed by the court if it is determined that P has lost his mental capacity and no one is authorized to make decisions on his behalf.

7. Parents of children with intellectual disabilities can also petition the court to appoint themselves as proxy for their children and another person to succeed them in planning the emergency in which the parents themselves lose capacity or die.

Who can be a deputy?

8. According to § 24 MCA, a substitute can be a person (e.g. a family member) who has reached the age of 21, or a professional substitute who is not related to P by blood or marriage. These professional representatives can include elected lawyers, doctors, accountants, health professionals, nurses, and social workers.

How do I apply as a deputy?

9. There are two different ways to seek an order from the Deputyship Court: simplified filing and regular filing. Deputyship court orders that use funds up to $ 60,000 or applications listed in Appendix A of this Family Court Quick Start Guide will qualify for simplified filing.

10. Applications for the simplified track can be submitted online via the Integrated Family Application Management System (iFAMS) of the Family Justice Courts with SingPass. For regular filing, several forms would need to be submitted to the Crimsonlogic Service Bureaus.

11. The application for the appointment of a substitute should be submitted within six months of the receipt of the medical report on P. By and large, the following questions should be considered by the potential surrogate / family of P:

  • Who should be the deputy and how many deputies are required?
  • Decide on the maintenance and finance plan for P:
  1. Where will P stay?
  2. Who cares about P?
  3. How are the payment modalities for P regulated?
  4. How long can Ps funds last?
  5. Based on P’s current circumstances, do other relevant powers need to be sought on P’s behalf? (For example, powers to transfer funds from P’s bank account, make insurance claims for P, manage matters relating to P’s house or apartment, consent to P’s medical treatment, etc.).

How long does it take to apply for representation?

12. Generally, as part of the regular filing process, it will take two to three months for someone to be named alternate. Simplified tracking can take up to three weeks from submitting an application to placing an order.

LPA vs. Deputyship – which is better?

13. An LPA is prophylactic in that a person pre-assigns a recipient to manage their affairs in the event that the person loses capacity in the future, while a proxy is more spontaneous – a court-appointed deputy if found to be A person has lost mental faculties and there is no LPA.

14. Compared to a representation, an LPA is certainly cheaper. On average, the legal costs and fee for issuing certificates for an LPA are around $ 200, while a deputyship can cost much more depending on the length of the application process.

15. Another key difference between an LPA and a proxy is that for an LPA, P as a donor has complete control over the choice of his perpetrator, while a deputy is elected by the court. Although the court will typically select a family member or close friend of P to act as an alternate, it is possible for a court to appoint an alternate who was not intended by P or who was not wanted by P’s family members.

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