I Already Have a Will. Do I Still Need a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

Discover why having just a Will may not be enough and why Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs) are crucial. Learn about the differences between Wills and LPAs, debunk common misconceptions, and understand how both documents work together to protect your wishes

Liane Yong

Liane Yong

Lawyer, Managing Director

8 min read •

Got your Will sorted? Feeling pretty secure about it? Well, hold on a sec - Just having a Will might not cover all your bases. That’s where the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) comes in.

Despite what some might think, these two documents aren’t interchangeable. They handle different situations. Your Will kicks in after you’ve passed away, dealing with who gets what. On the flip side, an LPA steps in while you’re still alive but mentally incapacitated. A Will together with an LPA is like a dynamic duo, working alongside each other to ensure all your needs are covered.

“So why not snag both at once?”

With WillCraft, you can take care of both your LPA and Will needs conveniently and affordably.

Stick around as we debunk some myths and misconceptions about making an LPA, shedding light on why having an LPA alongside your Will is a smart move.

Understanding the Differences Between Wills and LPAs

❓ How are they different

  • Wills

    A Will deals with the distribution of your assets and belongings after your passing. It specifies who will inherit what and how your estate will be managed.

  • LPAs

    An LPA focuses on decision-making while you’re still alive but lacking mental capacity. It allows you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf regarding your health, welfare, property, and financial affairs.

❓When do they take effect

  • Wills

    After you have passed on.

  • LPAs

    When you’re alive but unable to make decisions due to mental incapacity.

❓Who are the key players

  • Wills

    People involved: Executor(s).


    ✔ The Executor, appointed when there is a Will, is responsible for carrying out the instructions outlined in the Will and managing the estate.

    ✔ The Administrator, designated when there is no Will, ensures assets are distributed according to intestacy laws.

    For more information on the roles of an Executor or Administrator, read our article - “Administrators and Executors: Who, What and Why” here.

  • LPAs

    People Involved: Donor and Donees


    ✔ The donor is the person who grants the LPA, appointing one or more Donees to make decisions on his/her behalf if he/she becomes mentally incapacitated.

    ✔ The donees are trusted individuals chosen by the Donor to act in his/her best interests regarding health, welfare, property, and financial matters.

Let’s debunk some misconceptions about making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

9 Common Misconception about LPAs

Despite the growing recognition of LPAs as a significant legal tool, several common misconceptions about them persist. Let’s debunk these myths:

❌ Misconception 1: LPAs are unnecessary if you have a Will

Both documents are equally as important, they are two entirely different documents and both serve different purposes. Your LPA and your Will never operate at the same time.

The LPA becomes active during your lifetime, specifically for times when you can’t decide due to mental incapacity.

However, your Will is only active when you pass away, your Executor steps in to handle everything according to your instructions.

❌ Misconception 2: LPAs are only for the elderly

Don’t wait until you’re in a pickle to think about an LPA. It’s crucial to set one up while you’re still able to make decisions for yourself. If you wait until you’re in a bind, it’ll be too late. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) won’t approve an LPA if there’s any doubt about your mental capacity.

One big misconception is that LPAs are just for the elderly. But mental capacity can be lost in unexpected ways, like accidents.

“Imagine if you’re in a coma – who will speak for you then?”

That’s why it’s important for everyone, not just older folks, to plan ahead with an LPA.

❌ Misconception 3: LPAs are immediately registered

Don’t be fooled – LPAs don’t kick in right away. It needs to be registered. Once you’ve completed the necessary steps in your initial application on the Office of the Public Guardian (OPGO) portal, and your certificate issuer has submitted your LPA, your LPA needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), which usually takes about 4 weeks. This includes a mandatory 3-week waiting period to address any objections and ensure all legal requirements are met.

What is this mandatory 3-week waiting period for?

⏰ This 3-week waiting period to address any objections from your chosen Donee(s) and ensure all legal requirements are met.

You will be notified about the status of your LPA based on your chosen method during the application process, whether by SMS or email.

Note: If you’re a Singapore citizen using Form 1 for your LPA application, the application fee of S$70 has been waived by the OPG until March 31, 2026. However, please note that the fees payable to the OPG do not include certification fees, which applies separately.

❌ Misconception 4: An LPA is unnecessary. My next of kin can act on my behalf.

Although your next of kin may be involved in discussions in the event that you become mentally incapacitated, they will lack legal authority to make crucial decisions about your health or living arrangements without an LPA.

Additionally, an LPA goes beyond healthcare to cover financial matters. In cases of incapacity, banks may freeze accounts, necessitating a court order for access. Through an LPA, you appoint someone you trust (Donee(s)) to manage your finances, ensuring bills are paid and funds remain accessible.

Without an LPA, medical professionals or local authorities may make decisions conflicting with your wishes, leaving your family powerless.

❌ Misconception 5: LPAs are only for the wealthy

Even if you don’t have significant assets or property, an LPA is still necessary. Financial decisions affect everyone’s daily life, regardless of their financial situation. Your appointed Donee(s) may need to take care of various financial tasks, such as paying household bills, managing expenses like accommodation, and handling other financial responsibilities such as tax payments or managing your CPF.

Additionally, having an LPA ensures that if you receive an inheritance in the future and become incapacitated, someone can manage those funds for you, offering peace of mind and protecting your interests.

❌ Misconception 6: Jointly held assets remain unaffected by mental incapacity

A common but mistaken belief, particularly with bank accounts.

Typically, mainstream banks freeze withdrawals from joint accounts upon learning of one account holder’s incapacity. Without evidence of authority to act for you, your spouse may lose access to the account, potentially leading to dire consequences. They may struggle to cover expenses or meet their needs during this period.

❌ Misconception 7: LPAs require only one Donee

While having multiple Donees in your LPA is not compulsory, it is advisable. This is to ensure your LPA remains effective even if one attorney becomes unable to act (For example, your Donee passes away before you lose mental capacity).

When appointing multiple Donees, it’s important to carefully consider their circumstances. Opting for joint Donee appointments may provide greater security, ensuring that all decisions are made collectively. If you believe that your Donees will individually make decisions that are in your best interests, you may opt to appoint them jointly and/or severally. This would be convenient for your Donees as they would be able to make decisions quickly. Ultimately, the choice should reflect what best fits the situation and ensures the proper management of affairs.

❌ Misconception 8: LPAs restrict personal autonomy

Contrary to popular belief, LPAs actually protect personal autonomy by allowing individuals to specify preferences and appoint trusted Donee(s). Before use, LPAs must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, creating a public record. The OPG monitors LPAs and their use, including whether financial or physical abuse is suspected, investigating abuse reports and taking action if necessary, such as revoking LPAs to prevent harm.

For more information on the role of the Office Public Guardian (OPG) in LPAs, you can read more about it here.

❌ Misconception 9: LPAs are complicated and expensive

While navigating legal matters may appear intimidating, LPAs can be relatively straightforward to create with the help of professional guidance. Investing in an LPA is not only worthwhile, but necessary.

An LPA not only protects your interests but also ensures that your loved ones are spared the stress of unnecessary legal proceedings should you lose mental capacity.

A helping hand with WillCraft

At WillCraft, we simplify the LPA creation process by guiding you through each step. Our service provides you with helpful guides on how to prepare your LPA form and handles certificate issuance, providing a convenient one-stop solution for your legal needs. With a flat rate of just S$99, our LPA service is both affordable and comprehensive.

After creating your Will with us, why not explore our LPA option? You can conveniently kick start the process online, but do remember that for the LPA, you’ll need to get it certified. Consult us for the certification process!

Secure your future with an LPA through WillCraft!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for general guidance and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a lawyer to seek legal advice that is specific to your needs.
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