Sooner or later, many wealthy families find they need help managing their affairs. They may have too many competing priorities, too little time, concerns about sustaining wealth or an interest in a legacy beyond ?simply passing wealth on to future generations. That is often when they consider a family office.
What is a family office? A family office is simply an organization whose purpose is “to help wealthy families pursue goals, such as gaining more control over their financial affairs and promoting a sustained family legacy,” says Belinda J. Sneddon, an executive in the U.S. Trust Family Office. Often these families are also looking to consolidate their affairs under one roof, she says, “which may lead to lower administrative costs or greater confidentiality.”
Family offices come in many forms, including single-family and multifamily offices, a private trust company or an office that operates within an existing family business.
The type of office should be based on what family members wish to accomplish. “Families need to define their goals for the office and then determine the necessary functions required to meet those goals,” ?Sneddon notes. “Once you have defined a mission, you can then focus on structure, governance and the resources required in terms of people and technology.”
What attracts many families to the U.S. Trust Family Office is its experience as one of the longest-tenured multifamily offices in the nation. “We’ve spent decades helping families manage not just life’s challenges but its opportunities,” says Sneddon. “We understand that the needs and priorities of families evolve over time, and our experience has taught us the importance of having the flexibility to adjust how we support them as those priorities change.”
For more information on the U.S. Trust Family Office, please contact your advisor.
Always consult with your independent attorney, tax advisor, investment manager and insurance agent for final recommendations and before changing or implementing any financial, tax or estate planning strategy.