The intentions of how one’s assets are to be distributed are captured in legal structures like Wills and trusts. In addition, I would advise clients to consider putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and even an Advanced Medical Directive (AMD).
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you (at least 21 years of age) to appoint or empower another person or persons you trust to make decisions and act on your behalf should you lose mental capacity one day. You may lose capacity because of a stroke, a mental illness, or even an accident.
The person giving the power is known as the donor. The word ‘lasting’ in the context of an LPA means that the power may continue even if the person (though still alive) no longer has capacity to exercise the power. A donee(s) can be appointed to act on behalf of the donor in respect of his or her personal welfare as well as property & affairs matters.
An LPA provides you with certainty and hence, peace of mind as it can save your loved ones from potential family disagreements and frustration.
Thanks to the ‘Yang Yin vs Mdm Chung Khin Chun’ law suit, Singaporeans are now more aware of the purpose of an LPA.
Learn about how to make a Lasting Power of Attorney here.
What is an Advanced Medical Directive?
The Advanced Medical Directive (AMD) Act was passed in Parliament in May 1996. It is a legal document that one signs in advance to authorise one’s attending doctor, in the event of imminent death and unconsciousness (i.e. coma), that one does not want any life-sustaining treatment to be used to prolong his or her life.