Home > Insights > Financial Planning > When to Consider Family Office Services

When to Consider Family Office Services

Mature couple considers whether a family office is right for their finances

What Is a Family Office, and Do I Need One?

As your wealth and the complexity of your financial life grow over time, you may begin to wonder whether it makes sense to consider employing the services of a family office. While some high-net-worth families benefit greatly from family office support, others are well-served by an experienced wealth advisory team.

What is a family office?

A family office is a private wealth advisory team that supports ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families. Family offices typically provide a total, comprehensive solution to managing the financial needs of an affluent family, with dedicated staff focused on supporting all aspects of the family’s wealth. Family office services often include:

  • Financial planning
  • Investment management
  • Budgeting
  • Charitable giving
  • Estate/wealth transfer planning
  • Tax planning and filing
  • Bill-pay services
  • Wealth education for younger family members
  • Concierge services
  • Lending
  • Business consulting

There are three main types of family office arrangements:

  • Single-family office –A traditional, or single-family, approach to a family office is when a wealthy individual establishes a family office legal entity, then hires staff to manage the family’s wealth. The staff may include a wealth advisor, a tax professional, an estate planning attorney, an accountant, etc.

    With a single-family office, the family is responsible for paying all costs to run the family office, such as staff salaries and benefits, business overhead, facilities, etc. Those costs typically make this the most expensive of the three family office arrangements.

  • Multifamily office –A multifamily office is a firm that provides services for multiple families. In contrast to a single-family office, financial professionals are employed by the firm, not directly by the family.

    Multifamily offices typically charge a percentage fee based on the assets they manage on a client’s behalf. Doing so generally makes them a more cost-effective option than a single-family office.

  • Outsourced family office –An outsourced family office consists of a network of independent professionals who work together on behalf of a client. There’s typically a single “quarterback” (such as a wealth manager) assigned to coordinate communication between the various professionals and help ensure all services are working together to achieve the family’s goals.

    An outsourced family office can typically handle the same services as a single-family or multifamily office. The main difference is that the various professionals must be authorized to communicate with each other about the family’s financial matters. This type of family office is generally the least expensive of the three options, but it requires the family to give up a measure of control over how its finances are managed.

Should you consider a family office?

The decision of whether to seek the support of a family office is a personal one that depends on your specific financial situation and needs. Traditionally, family offices have been reserved for the ultra-affluent, but Creative Planning makes family office services available for most investors, and we’re committed to comprehensive problem-solving across all aspects of our clients’ financial lives.

We believe you should consider family office services when the complexity of your financial situation becomes more than you can — or wish to — handle. If you’re managing the demands of a challenging career, busy home life and complex financial situation, Creative Planning’s multifamily office solution helps shoulder the burden and improve efficiencies across your entire life.

If you have a goal of providing a legacy for future generations, our family office structure can help you establish a clear vision for family members, especially if you plan on passing along a family-owned business. Our family office services can also help facilitate communication among family members and support an effective wealth transfer across generations, while allowing you to establish clear expectations and responsibilities for future generations.

As part of our offering, our clients have access to a wide range of in-house financial services, including wealth advisory, investment management and private investments, tax planning and preparation, insurance, estate planning, business owner services and international wealth consulting. We believe this approach provides our clients with the benefit of comprehensive advisory services for a fraction of the cost of managing a family office.  For more information about how we help support your complex financial needs, please schedule a call with a member of our team. We look forward to getting to know you.

This commentary is provided for general information purposes only, should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice, and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship. Past performance of any market results is no assurance of future performance. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.


Find out how Creative Planning can help you maximize your wealth.

Latest Articles

Ready to Get Started?

Meet with a wealth advisor near you to see if your money could be working harder for you. Receive a free, no-obligation consultation.


Prefer to discuss over the phone?