What Interview Questions Should You Ask When Selecting an Attorney to Create a Living Trust?


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The first question to ask an attorney when planning for a living trust is whether that lawyer's primary focus is on estate planning, according to About.com. In addition, ask how many years of experience the attorney has and what courses the attorney has taken in estate planning.

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It's preferable if an attorney creating a living trust spends a minimum of 50 percent of his time on estate planning. Estate-planning attorneys should have taken about three estate-planning courses per year.

Ask whether the lawyer recommends separate wills, separate revocable living trusts or a joint revocable living trust for couples. In many cases, a joint revocable living trust with separate property agreements is the best answer as it maximizes tax benefits. Separate revocable living trusts are typically better choices than wills for most couples. A living trust is a document that spells out the grantor's wishes regarding his assets, dependents and heirs. Because it goes into effect either upon death or incapacitation, it is fundamentally different from a will.

Estate-planning attorneys should also recommend setting up a health care power of attorney and a durable power of attorney. They should also give advice regarding a list of successor trustees in case the primary trustee becomes ill.

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