Yuen Law Singapore law firm - deputyship for mentally incapacitated

Deputyship is when the court grants an order to appoint someone known as a “deputy” under the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) to make decisions on behalf of someone who is mentally incapacitated.

The person who lacks mental capacity is referred to as a “patient” under the MCA and by the court.

The deputy is usually a close relative or loved one, to manage a patient’s personal welfare, affairs, and properties, because that patient has lost the ability to make decisions for himself or herself.

Loss of mental capacity here is defined as the patient having lost the ability to understand information pertaining to making decisions, retaining or remembering such information, evaluating the information as part of the decision-making process, and communicating that decision either orally, verbally, or visually.

Not surprisingly, the court relies on a medical doctor’s affidavit on the opinion of the mental capacity of the patient, made within 6 months from time of application. This doctor must be a relevant specialist and not a general practitioner.

Difference between Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and Deputyship

Lasting Power of Attorney: An LPA is made by someone before he or she loses mental capacity

Deputyship: Only the Court can grant a deputyship application to a representative of a person who has already lost mental capacity, and does not have an LPA

Yuen Law has an abiding interest in family law matters and has vast experience with deputyship applications. We advise families on how to better prepare for the court application, and what the court wishes to know in order to grant an order under the MCA, this includes:

  1. Who the immediate family members and primary caregivers of the patient are
  2. Who the deputy will be
  3. Health care and living arrangement of the patient
  4. What the expected expenses of the patient are
  5. Whether there is a need to apply for other relevant powers for the patient based on the patient’s circumstances (for example, powers relating to transfer of funds from bank account, making insurance claims, selling or renting the patient’s house)

Knowing the court requirements will help save valuable time, and ensure that the court application is smoother.

One critical thing you need to secure is the unanimous agreement of immediate family members in applying for deputyship as well as the choice of the prospective deputy. If such an agreement cannot be reached, one may find the deputyship application challenged in court. This instantly complicates the deputyship application process, and the application costs might increase very quickly, as the case will come become a contested.

Application for Deputyship process in Singapore

The timeline for a deputyship application depends on the application complexity and the preparation of the prospective deputy. Do plan for at least 6 months to the grant of the deputyship order under the MCA.

Yuen Law LLC provides assistance in matters regarding deputyship. Do contact us to make an appointment.

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