Financial Planning
October 3, 2023

Family Office Wealth Management & How to Do It Right

Stewart Willis

With a dedicated team of experts, family offices for wealth management provide comprehensive financial solutions tailored specifically to your family's needs. Affluent families can benefit greatly from wealth preservation and investment strategies and tax planning. They ensure your wealth is managed efficiently and effectively.

Types of Family Offices for Wealth Management

When deciding how to approach your private wealth management, you need to think about your level of control and budget. You should look to work with professionals who work in your best interests. Still, you also want to take the frustration out of managing your own assets. 

There are two main types of family offices for wealth management.

1. Single-family office (SFO)

This type of office is dedicated to one family or individual. The services are tailored specifically to that family's needs, values, and goals. Family offices provide a comprehensive solution for managing wealth, covering various aspects beyond just financial growth and preservation. They address the broader needs and aspirations of families, ensuring a holistic approach to wealth management.

2. Multi-family office (MFO)

An MFO provides services to multiple families or individuals. It's a shared office setting where different families can benefit from economies of scale, sharing the overhead and operational costs.

In the past, family offices were primarily linked to extremely wealthy families because of the high costs involved in maintaining an office. Luckily, multi-family offices for wealth management, make these services more attainable for a wider range of affluent individuals and families.

What Is a Family Office in Wealth Management?

When managing the finances and wealth of ultra-high-net-worth individuals or families, a family office is an invaluable private entity. The primary goal of family office wealth management is to streamline and centralize substantial family fortunes, ensuring optimal financial stewardship and peace of mind for everyone involved. 

Wealth management family offices are well-equipped to provide diverse services customized specifically to fulfill the unique needs and desires of the families they cater to.

What Does a Family Wealth Advisor Do?

When choosing the best multi-family wealth office management firm, you need to look at the nature of the services they offer.

Tax and estate planning services are highly valuable as these offer expert advice on effective strategies for safeguarding and increasing wealth through tax optimization. Estate planning will ensure a smooth transfer of wealth to future generations, according to your family's desires.

Family figurine on a pile of coins

They offer expert guidance on philanthropy, assisting you in making charitable donations, establishing charitable trusts, and effectively managing your philanthropic ventures.

Family offices for wealth management provide expert guidance on all aspects of charitable giving, from helping you identify worthy causes to establishing charitable trusts and effectively managing your philanthropic ventures.

Multi-family offices for wealth management are responsible for handling all legal matters, including providing legal counsel and coordinating with external legal partners. They have extensive experience in areas such as trusts, estates, and more.

What is the Difference between a Family office and a Wealth Manager?

Family offices specializing in wealth management primarily serve ultra-high-net-worth families with substantial assets. As a result of their immense wealth, these affluent families usually have more intricate financial circumstances. On the other hand, traditional wealth management caters to a wide range of clients, including both affluent individuals and those with moderate wealth.

How Much Money Do You Need for a Family Office?

According to Citibank, the cost of operating a wealth management family office runs upwards of $1.5 million. However, this is for creating your own dedicated single-family office. Working with a multi-family office might be a better option for some ultra-high net worth individuals. You don’t have to source and vet financial advisors, lawyers, support staff and other personnel.

Choosing the Right Family Office for Wealth Management

To ensure a successful search, you should define your family's specific requirements upfront. Consider whether you require traditional wealth management services or something else. Do you require a broader range of services, such as philanthropy or family governance. This clarity will guide your search in the right direction.

Experience and Expertise

You will want to seek a firm with a proven track record. Ensure that you ask about their experience, past client cases, and the credentials of their team. Don't settle for anything less than assurance in their capabilities. 

The main advantage of family offices is their ability to offer personalized services. Whether it's an SFO or an MFO, ensure they can adapt to your family's evolving needs.

Accountability and Transparency

Take the time to thoroughly examine fee structures for these firms, potential conflicts of interest, and how they handle investments. Remember that clear and consistent communication should be expected from them. You should work with a legally obligated fiduciary to serve your best interests. You should work with a firm that aligns with your family's values, particularly when seeking advice on philanthropy and family education.

Let Us Help Preserve Your Financial Legacy

The Asset Preservation Wealth and Tax team excels in providing comprehensive oversight of assets. This includes investment portfolios, meticulously selecting top-performing wealth managers, and identifying lucrative direct investment strategies. Choosing the right family office is a critical decision that can shape your family's financial trajectory for generations. With our expertise in this field, you can confidently entrust us with the responsibility because of our fiduciary duty.

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Stewart Willis is the founder and president of Asset Preservation Wealth & Tax, a financial planning firm in Phoenix, Arizona. Investment advisory services offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.

The commentary on this blog reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the author, Stewart Willis, providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC (“Foundations”), an SEC registered investment adviser or performance returns of any Foundations client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment, legal or tax advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Personal investment advice can only be rendered after the engagement of Foundations for services, execution of required documentation, including receipt of required disclosures. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Foundations manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Any statistical data or information obtained from or prepared by third party sources that Foundations deems reliable but in no way does Foundations guarantee the accuracy or completeness. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Any past performance is no guarantee of future results. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Foundations and its advisors are properly licensed or exempted. For more information, please go to and search by our firm name or by our CRD # 175083.

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