3. How do you invest?
Most clients come to advisors for their investment expertise. Even if an advisor does not personally manage money but picks the managers who do, he or she still has a way of looking at markets that should be articulated.
Linda Lubitz Boone, president of Lubitz Financial Group, suggests that clients seek out advisors who go a step further and create an investment policy statement, essentially a road map to how investments will be managed.
Read MoreIs your advisor a fiduciary?
"You want to work with someone who has a process when markets go up, when markets go down and when markets go sideways," said Lubitz Boone, co-author of "Creating an Investment Policy Statement: Guidelines and Templates" with her husband, Norman Boone.
Lubitz Boone recalled one of her first clients when she began managing money in the early 1990s. The man, who was in his 70s at the time, had insisted against any investments in Japan. Lubitz Boone was surprised, given how well that market had performed in the years before. It turned out that client had been held in a Japanese prison camp during World War II and his resentment toward his former captors ran deep.