Play Dumb to Find a Good Lawyer?
Today I came across a question and answer column on the Raleigh News and Observer website called "Ask Holly." The answers are written by a Holly Nicholson, a Raleigh Certified Financial Planner who also has a law degree. The person posing the question about avoiding probate and finding a good lawyer erroneously referred to revocable trusts as "reversible" trusts. Ms. Nicholson counseled her to begin the attorney selection process by asking the lawyer about reversible trusts, and then consider using any lawyer who nicely explains that the term is actually "revocable" trusts.
I must respectfully disagree with Ms. Nicholson’s recommendation. I believe that it is best to educate oneself about estate planning terms and techniques before attempting to choose a qualifed lawyer. Purposely acting ignorant serves no useful purpose, is deceptive, and is not a good way to start off what should be a relationship of mutual trust. Any attorney worth hiring will be polite and patient regardless of how much or how little a prospective client knows about estate planning.