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Give Thanks and Share Your Thoughts about Incapacity

Posted by Aubrey Carew Sizer | Nov 26, 2015

Like many Americans, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love that we emphasize our blessings and gather to reflect on the numerous reasons we have to give thanks. As an attorney who helps people get their affairs in order, I am also acutely aware that in addition to having fun and making cherished memories, Thanksgiving is an opportune time to talk at ease and at length with those closest to us. This makes it a great time to discuss your thoughts about incapacity and your wishes should you become incapacitated.

Remember the Terri Schiavo case? Who did you side with and why? Have you heard about Jahi McMath? What if it were you? What would you want to happen? What about Brittany Maynard? What are your thoughts about her decision? Do you have strong feelings for or against the right to die? What are your convictions, in general, about a diminished quality of life? What if you collapsed, fell into a coma, and were declared brain dead while pregnant like Marlise Munoz? Would you want to be kept alive until your baby is born?

Cannot picture yourself talking about incapacity while passing the cranberry sauce? I completely understand. It may seem awkward, but by discussing a well-known case, you can initiate the dialogue naturally without sounding downbeat. The above names are of real people, loved immensely by families who had to face incredibly difficult decisions. By no means does a discussion surrounding incapacity have to dominate today's conversation. What matters is that you take advantage of the precious time together to express the fundamental thoughts, beliefs, and wishes you hold and may not have the time or opportunity to share otherwise. Please take heed and do that today. I cannot tell you the number of people who have shared with me how grateful they are that years before they desperately had to recall the information, they had these types of conversations over the turkey, during the game, or around the tree.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

© 2016 Aubrey Carew Sizer, Esquire. All Rights Reserved.

Posted on: November 26, 2015

About the Author

Aubrey Carew Sizer

Aubrey Carew Sizer, Esquire, is the Principal Attorney of The Law Office of Aubrey Carew Sizer PLLC, a Northern Virginia law firm providing representation for Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning, Long-Term Care Planning, Guardianship and Conservatorship, Special Needs Planning for the Disabled, and Probate, Estate and Trust Administration.


The Law Office of Aubrey Carew Sizer PLLC provides customized and affordable estate planning (including wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, and advance medical directives); elder law services (including long-term care planning, special needs planning for the disabled, and guardianships and conservatorships); probate, estate and trust administration (including advising executors and administrators of estates about post-mortem planning and the local probate process in Virginia), as well as general aging and disability advice in Northern Virginia, including but not limited to Arlington, Alexandria, Ashburn, Bristow, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Gainesville, Fairfax, Falls Church, Haymarket, Herndon, Leesburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, Reston, Springfield, Sterling, and throughout Loudoun, Prince William, and Fairfax counties.