Learn the Types of Power of Attorney (POA) in Singapore
Power of attorney (POA) is one of those things that everyone must know about. Several types of POAs exist in Singapore, each of which has its use. But before we look at them, let’s understand what POA is and how it can benefit us.
What is a Power Of Attorney
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf. It can be used for various purposes, such as managing your finances, making medical decisions, or selling your property. A person living in Singapore may need a Power of Attorney (POA) if they cannot be in the country when they need to be there.
When Should You Create a POA?
If you are considering creating a power of attorney, it is important to research and choose an attorney experienced in this area of law. You should also keep your POA up-to-date, especially if your circumstances change.
Here are some examples of when you might need a POA:
- If you are going to be out of the country for an extended period.
- If you are going to be undergoing surgery or other medical treatment, that may make you incapacitated.
- If you are diagnosed with a chronic illness that may make you incapacitated.
- If you are elderly and have difficulty managing your affairs.
There are several factors to consider when selecting a Power of Attorney (POA). Firstly, carefully choose an attorney who you trust implicitly and who possesses the necessary competence to make decisions on your behalf. Secondly, determine the scope of powers you wish to grant your attorney. You can opt for comprehensive authority over all aspects of your affairs or restrict their powers to specific areas like finances or healthcare.
Lastly, ensure your POA includes a provision that allows you to revoke it at any time, providing you with the flexibility to make changes if circumstances require. By addressing these considerations, you can establish a POA that aligns with your preferences and safeguard your interests effectively. If you need a POA, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
What Are the Types of POA?
There are several types of POAs you should know, and they are:
A general POA is the most versatile type of POA. It gives the attorney-in-fact broad powers to act on your behalf in all matters, including financial, legal, and personal. This type of POA can be very helpful if you can’t manage your affairs due to illness or travel. However, it is important to note that a general POA can be revoked at any time by the donor.
A specific POA gives the attorney-in-fact specific powers to act on your behalf in a particular matter. For example, you could create a specific POA to allow someone to sell your house or manage your investments. This type of POA is less versatile than a general POA, but it can be more secure because it gives the attorney-in-fact only the powers that you specifically grant them.
A durable POA remains in effect even if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. This type of POA is important because it ensures that someone will be able to manage your affairs for you if you are unable to do so yourself.
A springing POA does not take effect until a certain event occurs, such as you become incapacitated. This type of POA can be helpful if you do not want to give someone the power to act on your behalf until you can’t do so yourself. The difference between a durable and a springing POA is immediate effectiveness. A springing POA only becomes effective when the principal becomes incapacitated, a durable POA is immediate.
A joint POA allows two or more people to act as your attorneys-in-fact. This type of POA can be helpful if you want to have two or more people who can manage your affairs for you.
This POA gives your attorney the power to make decisions about your healthcare, such as consenting to or refusing treatment. This can be important if you become incapacitated and unable to make these decisions yourself.
This POA matters as it gives your attorney the power to manage your HDB flat, such as selling it or subletting it. This can be helpful if you are unable to manage your own affairs due to incapacity.
Your Legal Representation
To qualify as a donee for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), the individual must be at least 21 when signing the LPA. Additionally, they should not be declared bankrupt. These criteria ensure that the chosen donee is of legal age and financial stability to handle the decision-making authority granted by the LPA responsibly.
Powers of the donee:
- To restrain the donor.
- The donor’s medical treatment or healthcare.
- The Insurance Act covers nominations.
- Executing the donor’s will.
- CPF funds.
- Handling the property of the donor.
- Using the donor’s property to make gifts.
Applying for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), you must complete the necessary LPA form by providing the required information. It’s important to ensure that all form sections are filled out accurately and completely. Once the form is completed, you’ll need to have it certified. This involves getting a professional, like a solicitor or notary, to verify your identity. They will also confirm that you are mentally capable of making decisions.
After certification, the next step is registering the LPA application by submitting the form and accompanying documents to the appropriate authority. This ensures that your LPA is legally recognised and can be used when needed. It’s essential to follow these steps carefully to ensure the validity of your LPA and grant your chosen attorney the legal authority to act on your behalf when necessary.
Need a Hand?
We’re here to help if you are looking for assistance related to POA. The 3E Accounting team and its experts offer estate planning services in Singapore. Apart from this, we have a full spectrum of services, including company incorporation, corporate secretarial, bookkeeping and more! For more information on what we do and how we can help you, contact us today.