Family Office


Like private wealth management advisory companies, family offices provide financial services for ultra-wealthy clients. Family offices differ from traditional wealth management advisory firms because they offer a complete outsourced solution for affluent families who need financial and investment support. Some of the services delivered by family offices include budgeting, insurance, tax services, and family wealth transfer. A family office also can provide lifestyle management services.

How Are Family Offices Structured?

A family office provides a wide variety of financial services that meet the needs of ultra-wealthy clients. Family offices can be single-family offices (SFOs) or multi-family offices (MFOs). A single-family office provides financial services for one client, while a multi-family office operates the same way as more traditional wealth management firms that serve several clients. The types of services offered by both SFOs and MFOs differ significantly. For example, a client might need advice from a wide range of financial planning experts, while another client requires one financial planner to organize personal finance documents.

What Are the Types of Financial Services Provided by Family Offices?

Giving financial advice and providing a wide variety of services for super-rich families requires more than one certified financial advisor. A family office operates as a coordinated team of personal finance specialists who provide legal, insurance, investment, and estate planning services. Personal financial experts provide the highest quality of financial planning services such as legacy and lifestyle management.

Legacy Management

After accumulating assets over a lifetime, a wealthy client faces numerous obstacles while trying to preserve assets. You face high estate taxes that are governed by strict estate laws. Another issue some clients of family offices have to deal with involves protecting business assets. The primary responsibility of a family office that handles legacy management is to ensure a client’s assets remained protected by transferring the assets into a family trust.

Family offices also educate their clients on financial issues and strategies to help them make the best-informed decision about their financial resources.

Lifestyle Management

A family office focused on lifestyle management handles the personal affairs of one or more clients. This can involve providing personal security for home and travel and handling personal matters such as streamlining daily to-do lists. Family offices that provide lifestyle management services do less planning and more active participation in the lives of their clients.

What Are the Classifications for Family Offices?

Family offices fall under four classifications, with each classification designed to address specific financial issues. For example, a Class 1 Family Office offers comprehensive oversight of all the liquid financial assets held by a client. The first classification of a family office provides the same estate planning services that traditional financial planning firms offer.

A Class 2 Family Office offers advice without having any conflict of interest. Firms in this class do not sell financial products and services. On the other hand, a family office designed to be Class 3 offers financial products and services, some of which are outside the scope of what the family office sells. Finally, a Class 4 Family Office monitors an estate to report any issues to the trustee.

Learn More About Family Offices

If you have accumulated considerable wealth, you might benefit from hiring a family office to manage your assets or handle some of your daily lifestyle activities. Before you decide on which family office to hire, schedule a free consultation with one of the estate planning attorneys at Cloud Peak Law Group. We will review your financial portfolio and your lifestyle activities to determine how we can help you better manage your life and your financial resources.

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