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What Is an Idaho Power of Attorney?

An Idaho power of attorney is a legal document that acts as the authorization for an individual, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to make financial decisions, healthcare decisions, real estate decisions, or estate decisions on behalf of the person granting this authority. An Idaho POA is often used for estate planning. Yet, there are other instances where a POA is a useful tool.

Quick Reference:

The person granting permission is referred to as the principal, donor, or grantor.

The person receiving authorization is known as the agent or the attorney-in-fact.

ID POA Laws:

An Idaho power of attorney is a form that must adhere to Title 15 Chapter 12 of the Idaho Code. Here are a few of the requirements to create a legally enforceable power of attorney:

  • The principal must be at least 18 years old, be of sound mind, and understand what they are signing.
  • The principal may specify which powers the agent does and does not have.
  • There is no legal requirement to file the power of attorney with any county or state legal body.

According to Idaho Legal Aid, it is not necessary to have a notary public witness the principal's signature, but it is often helpful since it serves to authenticate the document. The Idaho State Bar provides a statutory form in PDF format free for the general public.

The principal has the right to revoke the power of attorney as long as they are competent. A power of attorney can also be terminated if:

  • The principal is determined to be incapacitated and the power of attorney isn’t durable.
  • The principal dies.
  • The power of attorney fulfills its purpose and the expiration date passes.
  • The agent resigns and there is no successor agent or co-agent.
  • The principal and agent are legally separated or file for divorce.

Why Would You use an Idaho Power of Attorney Form?

There are several reasons why someone would use an Idaho power of attorney form to give someone the authority to make decisions related to their tangible personal property, financial institution transactions, tax matters, or their well-being. Some of those reasons include:

  • Their age, mental health reasons, or illness. They could want their matters handled in specific ways. It is generally advised that everyone, including those with a terminal illness and those in perfect health, have the right power of attorney in place to handle their affairs appropriately and to ensure their wishes are fulfilled.
  • A person with a mental illness could require a different type of power of attorney than a person diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • A person with dependent children may require a different power of attorney than someone who does not have dependent children.

Each person’s power of attorney needs may vary. Thankfully, there are several types of power of attorney forms that may be used. Before you decide to use a power of attorney, seek legal advice. Ask about the best POA for your specific situation as well as how to revoke the document should it become necessary. Here are the most commonly used powers of attorney in Idaho.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney grants an agent with sweeping power unless the principal specifically states what the agent may and may not do.

  • The effective date is the date that the POA is signed by the principal. However, this authorization expires if the principal becomes incapacitated or were to pass away. It is also terminated if the principal revokes the document.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is used to allow an agent to act on the behalf of the principal even if the principal is determined to be incompetent.

  • The principal may list the specific powers the agent may act upon, just like in a general power of attorney. The term "durable" comes from the fact that this authorization continues if the principal were to become disabled or incapacitated. The principal still has the power to revoke the POA as long as they haven’t been declared incompetent.

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney, also known as a special power of attorney, has limited power to whatever the principal specifies.

  • In many cases, an agent will have the power to handle finances, or make medical decisions, but will not have the authority to do other things such as sell property (depending on what the principal decides). Just like a general power of attorney, the authority terminates if the principal becomes incapacitated or dies, the expiration date within the POA passes, or the principal revokes it.

Medical Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney allows the principal to appoint a healthcare agent to make healthcare decisions. It is not the same as a living will or as an advance health care directive.

  • A medical power of attorney does allow the agent to make medical decisions, but it does not allow the agent to make end-of-life decisions. In fact, if the principal is declared incapacitated. To create a living will that will remain valid if the principal becomes incapacitated, follow the instructions provided the Idaho Legal Aid Services.

Parental Power of Attorney

A parental power of attorney allows a parent or guardian to grant decision-making rights over their minor child to a temporary guardian in the event that the parent may not be present during a medical emergency.

  • This form is generally used if the parent or guardian must leave the country for a period of time or if the child is temporarily traveling with or living with another adult.

Real Estate Power of Attorney

A real estate power of attorney allows the principal to designate an agent to buy, sell, or manage real estate on their behalf.

  • Because legal ramifications can result from allowing another person to buy, sell, and manage real estate property on your behalf, you should seek legal advice before using this type of power of attorney.

Tax Power of Attorney

A tax power of attorney form allows a capable individual, generally an accountant, to handle all tax preparation and submission needs on the principal's behalf.

  • The Idaho State Tax Commission offers a PDF version of the official tax power of attorney used.

Vehicle Power of Attorney

A vehicle power of attorney, Form IDT-3368, grants the agent power of attorney to handle all documents relating to the title and registration of the principal’s vehicle with the Idaho Transportation Department.

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