When will a deputy be required?

Your loved one has dementia, suffered a brain injury or a severe stroke; or has slipped into a coma, or is otherwise unable to make decisions about their own welfare or assets.

It is important to note that not all stroke patients have loss of Mental Capacity. It may be difficult for the stroke patient to continue managing his assets and affairs due to physical limitations. In certain scenarios it may be possible for stroke patient to obtain a Power of Attorney.

You need to manage their affairs so that they can be taken care of e.g. medical care and bills. You wish to have access to their bank accounts, or CPF funds or be able to rent or sell property to help defray the costs of medical treatment, medication, nursing care and other medical needs etc. However, no Lasting Power of Attorney was done by them.

Alternatively, your child has severe intellectual disabilities, Downs Syndrome, Autism, Global Delay Development, Profound Multiple Learning Disability etc, and you want to secure their future after you are unable to. As parents of special needs children you would want to consider applying to Court to appoint a Deputy.

In either case, your best option is to apply to Family Justice Court to be appointed a Deputy to take care of such matters under the MCA.

The powers that a Deputy will have is set out in the final Court Order granted by the Family Justice Court and the Deputy has to act in the best interest of your loved one.

The person who lacks mental capacity is referred to as “Patient” under the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and by the Court.

The most important document you need to obtain before you consider applying to Court is to obtain a specialist medical report (e.g. neurologist or psychiatrist) that certifies that the Patient lacks mental capacity and the medical report should satisfy the following requirements:-

  1. Distinguish clearly between observations or conclusions based on information given to the doctor and those that are based on the doctor’s examination of the Patient;
  2. Contain a clear opinion as to whether the Patient lacks capacity in relation to the matters specified in the application;
  3. Be current and shall not be made more than 6 months before the date of the application;
  4. Contain a clear opinion on Patient’s prognosis.

For assistance on court appointment of deputies, please contact us to make an appointment.

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