If you’ve taken your first steps into setting up your LPA – good on you! Having these conversations and putting plans into gear is a great start to ensuring you and your loved ones are protected if the unexpected happens to you.
There are many reasons why you need to ensure your LPA is set up, so remember to read the first part of Minding your Matters to know why it’s important to do so while you can.
If you’re in the process of setting up your LPA, you might be nursing some concerns about special circumstances regarding your Donee or considering further implications of executing an LPA. We share some thoughts on what you might face.
What disqualifies my Donee?
We know that an LPA takes care of us when we become incapable of making decisions for ourselves, by way of appointing a Donee to help make said decisions on our behalf – but what happens if our Donee becomes unable to fulfil their duty?
There are several situations where your Donee might be unable to proceed with their duties1:
- Your Donee no longer wishes to be your Donee
- Your Donee is made a bankrupt (if your Donee has been appointed in relation to matters regarding your Property and Affairs)
- You and your Donee go through a divorce or have your marriage annulled
- Your Donee loses their mental capacity
- Your Donee dies
In most of the above cases, your Donee loses their power to make any decisions, as the powers would be revoked, or their appointment terminated. To avoid this, you may consider appointing a replacement Donee. Otherwise, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) will require a copy of documents such as divorce or annulment papers, death certificates, medical reports along with the original LPA documentation so they can cancel your LPA.
I’ve set up my LPA and it’s taken effect. What happens if I recover from my mental incapacitation?
While your LPA comes into effect in cases of mental incapacitation such as brain trauma, mental illness or a coma, you may recover from these conditions. The powers of your Donee will cease, and you can make your own decisions. Your LPA itself continues to be valid and will operate if you should lose mental capacity in the future2.
What happens if I want to revoke my LPA?
Perhaps you’ve changed your mind about who you’ve appointed as your Donee, or you wish to appoint a more suitable Donee to carry out the duties of your LPA. This requires you to reverse the decision, which can be requested online through the OPG3.
Note: Revoking your LPA incurs a cancellation fee of S$30, and OPGO you may have to provide supporting documents.
What happens if someone disputes an LPA?
Should someone feel an LPA was agreed to under duress or you disagree with the choice of Donee appointed, there are options to put forward an objection (no pun intended).
While not an exhaustive list, disputes can arise in these common scenarios:
- There are disagreements over the mental capacity of the Donor when an LPA was made
- How a Donee makes decisions regarding a Donor’s expenditure, investments, property or medical care
- If the Donee makes decisions outside of the those specified in an LPA
As long as you retain mental capacity, you can revoke your LPA.
We all want to live a long and healthy life, but how do we start? Build a strong foundation and practise these habits today for a long, happy life.
However, should another person wish to challenge decisions made by a Donee or the choice of Donee, it’s best to enlist a lawyer to advise on the legal options available. There are also options of mediation outside of court, but an appointment of a specialist is necessary for disputes like these.
Do I need to appoint multiple Donees or a replacement Donee?
There may be situations where you require more than one Donee to oversee your matters. In these cases, there are two options:
- One or two Donees
You may appoint more than one Donee to work with your primary Donee – this means they can make decisions on your behalf either jointly or separately. They’ll be relied upon by you to support and advise one another through the process of carrying out your LPA.
It is crucial to ensure your choice of Donees are able to act jointly with as little dispute as possible.
- Replacement Donees
A replacement Donee is someone you’ve appointed in the event your first Donee becomes unable to carry out their prescribed duties. This ensures that in any situation, your wishes can be carried out.
With all that said, one’s Donee should be someone you personally have confidence in when it comes to your care or decisions relating to it. We hope that Minding your Matters has given you an insight into the value of setting up an LPA while you’re able to and has helped you to prepare for any issues in the process – if you’re unsure or need more assistance in planning ahead, there’s always help available.
1. Source: My Legacy@Life SG, Choose 1 or 2 Donees - My Legacy (life.gov.sg) accessed on 4 September 2023.
2. Source: Ministry of Social and Family Development, Information for Donees, accessed on 5 October 2023.
3. Source: Smart Towkay, Lasting Power of Attorney in Singapore - A Complete Guide - SMART-TOWKAY Pte. Ltd, accessed on 4 September 2023.