Although achieving financial freedom is a significant accomplishment, it’s important to acknowledge that one’s health cannot be overlooked. Consequently, it is often recommended to proactively prepare for the possibility of losing mental capacity to make major decisions concerning both your health and wealth.

In Singapore, the Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) was introduced under the Mental Capacity Act (MCA), which became effective on 1 March 2010. The MCA established a legal framework for LPAs in Singapore, empowering individuals to plan for the future by appointing trusted individuals, known as donees, to make decisions on their behalf if they become mentally incapacitated. The introduction of the LPA aimed to safeguard the interests of individuals who might experience incapacity and ensure decision-making aligns with their autonomy and personal preferences.

In the United States, the concept of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is not commonly used. Instead, the equivalent document is referred to as a Power of Attorney (POA) or Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA). A Durable Power of Attorney allows an individual, referred to as the principal, to appoint an agent, also known as an attorney-in-fact or proxy, to make financial, legal, and healthcare decisions on their behalf in the event they become incapacitated or unable to make decisions.

In Europe, the specifics of the Lasting Power of Attorney can vary from country to country. Some European countries, such as the United Kingdom, have a legal framework for LPAs that allows individuals to appoint someone they trust as an attorney to make decisions on their behalf if they lose mental capacity. The attorney can have the authority to make decisions regarding financial matters, healthcare, and personal welfare, depending on the jurisdiction.

It’s important to note that while there are similarities in the concepts and purposes of LPAs or equivalents across different jurisdictions, the specific requirements, procedures, and legal implications can vary significantly. Therefore, it is advisable to consult the relevant laws and regulations of the specific country or region in question for accurate and up-to-date information.

Whether it pertains to ourselves or our elderly parents, the presence of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can bring forth numerous benefits. However, it is essential to carefully consider certain aspects. Below are some advantages and disadvantages of having an LPA:


  1. Decision-making control: By creating an LPA, you have the ability to choose a trusted person to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This ensures that someone you trust is handling your affairs and making important choices according to your wishes.
  2. Peace of mind: Knowing that you have a designated individual to act on your behalf can provide peace of mind. It alleviates concerns about potential confusion or disputes regarding decision-making in the event of incapacity.
  3. Flexibility: LPAs can be customized to fit your specific needs and preferences. You can define the scope of authority granted to your attorney-in-fact, whether it’s related to financial matters, healthcare decisions, or both.
  4. Avoiding court intervention: With an LPA in place, it may be unnecessary for a court to appoint a guardian or conservator to handle your affairs. This can save time, money, and potentially prevent unwanted disputes among family members.


  1. Loss of control: Granting someone else the power to make decisions on your behalf means relinquishing some control over your affairs. While this is often necessary in cases of incapacity, it’s important to choose an attorney-in-fact whom you trust implicitly.
  2. Potential for abuse: There is a risk that the appointed attorney-in-fact may misuse their authority. While legal safeguards exist to prevent abuse, it’s crucial to choose a responsible and trustworthy person to act as your attorney-in-fact.
  3. Complexity and cost: Creating an LPA may involve legal fees, particularly if you seek professional assistance. The process can be somewhat complex, requiring proper execution and registration in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations.
  4. Limited scope: Depending on the jurisdiction, there may be limitations on the authority granted through an LPA. Some decisions, such as those related to end-of-life care or certain medical treatments, may require separate legal documents.

It’s important to carefully consider the specific laws and regulations in your jurisdiction and consult with legal professionals to fully understand the pros and cons of having an LPA and how it aligns with your individual circumstances and preferences.

In Singapore, the process for creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) involves several steps. Here is a picturesque overview of the process:

It is important to note that the LPA registration process in Singapore can take several weeks. It is advisable to seek legal advice and guidance from professionals, such as lawyers or the Office of the Public Guardian, to ensure compliance with the specific requirements and procedures in Singapore. If you are ready, you can click the icon below to be re-directed to OPGO.

The fee waiver for Singapore citizens to apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), which was to end March 31, 2023, will be extended by three years until March 31, 2026.

Form 1 is for LPA applicants who want to grant general powers with basic restrictions. The Form 1 fee is S$100 (US$75.2) for permanent residents and S$250 for foreigners.

After applying for the LPA online, applicants need to visit a doctor, lawyer or psychiatrist to get the form certified, and separate charges will apply.

If you are considering establishing a Power of Attorney (POA) or Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) in the United States, here is a researched outline of the general process involved. The POA and DPOA serve a similar purpose to the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). The process typically encompasses the following steps:

  1. Determine the type of POA: Decide whether you need a general POA, which grants broad powers to the appointed agent, or a specific or limited POA, which grants only specific powers for a defined period or purpose.
  2. Choose an agent: Select a trusted individual to act as your attorney-in-fact or agent. This person will make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions. It is essential to choose someone who is reliable, responsible, and capable of handling the designated responsibilities.
  3. Draft the POA document: Create a written document that clearly outlines the powers granted to your agent. The document should include your full name, the agent’s full name, a clear statement of the powers being granted, and any limitations or conditions associated with those powers.
  4. Consult an attorney: While it is possible to create a POA without an attorney, it is advisable to seek legal advice to ensure compliance with state-specific laws and to address any unique circumstances or complexities. An attorney can help draft the document, provide guidance on state requirements, and ensure that the POA aligns with your specific needs.
  5. Execute the document: Sign and date the POA document in the presence of a notary public. Some states may require witnesses in addition to or instead of a notary. Ensure that all required signatures, witnesses, and notarization are completed as per the applicable state laws.
  6. Distribute and retain copies: Provide copies of the executed POA document to your appointed agent, relevant financial institutions, healthcare providers, and any other entities that may require it. Retain a copy for your records as well.
  7. Review and update as necessary: Regularly review your POA document to ensure it reflects your current wishes and circumstances. If any changes or updates are required, consult with an attorney to make the necessary revisions.

It’s important to note that the specific requirements and procedures for creating a POA can vary by state in the United States. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning or elder law to ensure compliance with the laws of your particular state and to address any specific considerations.

Credits to:

Channelnewsasia – Fee waiver for Lasting Power of Attorney applications extended for Singapore citizens – CNA (

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