In Idaho, there are two types of Power of Attorney, the Medical Power of Attorney
(MPOA), and the general POA (POA). The MPOA is usually accomplished along with
the Living Will, and it gives the power to the person of your choice to give or deny
consent for medical procedures in the event you are unable to give consent due to a lack
of capacity. The general POA allows the person of your choice to handle your finances
for you, which ranges from paying your electric bill to selling your house. You could
have the same person hold both types of POA, but they really involve two distinct skills.
For the general POA, you want a person who is detail oriented, keeps good records, and
above all is trustworthy. For the MPOA, you want someone who knows what your wishes
are concerning how you want to die, and has the courage to make some tough medical
decisions.

Nominating your POA is Important

It can be important to nominate the person you want to be your MPOA. If you fail to
nominate your MPOA, the State of Idaho will do it for you. This is called surrogate
decision maker. The order of priority is spouse, adult child, parent, and adult sibling. In a
medical crisis, not having a MPOA can work fine as long your family is in agreement,
but if there is disagreement, it can be very expensive and families can be torn apart. Do
your family a great favor by completing both your Living Will and nominating your
MPOA.

What Happens if the Courts Get Involved

Creating a general POA can actually be more important that a MPOA. This is because, in
Idaho, if a person has not nominated a POA, then the only way financial transactions can
be accomplished is by having the Court appoint a Conservator. In the event someone
lacks capacity, maybe they had a stroke or suffer from dementia, their family will not be
able to make necessary financial transactions to apply for government benefits or obtain
long term care until the Court appoints a conservator. This involves a court hearing, can
be expensive and time consuming. This whole process can add unnecessary stress and
tension in the midst of a medical emergency. And so, everyone should do some good life
planning and nominate their general POA and their MPOA while they are still healthy.