Lasting Power of Attorney – The process of application was not so simple

Having done my Will, Advance Medical Directive (AMD), and CPF nomination, I have one last thing I need to do. That is to apply for Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

What is LPA?

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) describes it best and succinctly.

“The Lasting Power Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows a person who is at least 21 years of age (‘donor’), to voluntarily appoint one or more persons [‘donee(s)’] to make decisions and act on his behalf should he lose mental capacity one day. A donee can be appointed to act in the two broad areas of personal welfare and property & affairs matters.”

Should I be mentally incapacitated, I can be assured that my personal affairs and my property & affairs would be handled by my wife. In addition, she can also decide for me with regard to giving or refusing consent to the carrying out or continuation of treatment, including the conduct of a clinical trial, by a person providing health care for me. This is important since this aspect is not taken care of by the Advance Medical Directive (AMD).

Frustrating Experience

LPA is important. What I find frustrating is that the process of application is not simple. To apply for LPA, I need to find a Certificate Issuer to endorse the form. The Certificate Issuer must be an accredited medical practitioner or a practicing lawyer or a registered psychiatrist.

Not all medical practitioners wanted to be on board this worthy exercise. My General Practitioner is not one of them. So I had to look out for one who is not my doctor. I went to two clinics near my home that are listed as doing this. The first clinic said the charge was $100 (even though I said that my straightforward Form 1 had been completed already). The second clinic wanted to charge me $150. The website of OPG says that average charge is $50. $100 and $150 are too high for me.

I called another clinic somewhere further away from home and this clinic said that appointments for doing LPA were full for December. I have to wait for the New Year.

What happened next for me

I finally got one doctor who charges $50 and he is one of the top 10 most visited doctors as Certificate Issuers. As I see it, the process of certification is not that onerous especially if the donor (applicant) is well versed in such matter as LPA.

LPA is important, why can’t OPG make it easier?

I know that the Ministry of Social and Family Development is pushing for people to execute the Lasting Power of Attorney. The search for a Certificate Issuer can be a pain as explained above. There is also the element of different charges by different doctors. Some are charging so much that turns people away.

Could the Office of the Public Guardian take over the function of a Certificate Issuer and charge a flat fee for it?

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