Is your family office benefiting from strategic tax and wealth planning?

Cohesive planning approach is important for complex family operations

Family offices come in all shapes and sizes. They can range from a few single-generation members of a wealthy family with common investment and philanthropic goals, to a complex, multigenerational family with contrasting interests and individual investment objectives. It is absolutely true—referring to the structure’s unique nature—if you’ve seen one family office… you’ve seen one family office.

And with this uniqueness comes a variety of tax and wealth planning needs as diverse and complex as the needs of each family member. Some families require simple assistance with bookkeeping, for instance, and may handle those needs internally. Still others, however, may require more in-depth wealth planning efforts around investment management, accounting, income tax considerations, succession planning, estate and wealth transfer planning and more.

It’s not the dollars, it’s the complexity

How do you know if your family requires the help of outside tax and wealth planning professionals who actually have experience with the issues you might be facing? It’s not always the dollars or the family’s overall wealth that dictates this decision. Rather, it’s the complexity of your family’s wealth. For instance, if you are a member of a multigenerational family, or if your family has a trust, charitable commitments, a multifaceted investment portfolio, numerous residences and more, your family may benefit from leveraging finance and accounting outsourcing as well as professional resources to address tax considerations or estate and wealth transfer planning needs. Likewise, formalized wealth planning efforts can provide continuity with the various elements of the family enterprise such as operating the business legacy, taking care of family needs like bill paying or residential management, securing financial stability for next generations and addressing philanthropic endeavors. The more layers a family office has, the higher the need for a more formalized process and outside professional assistance.

A holistic approach

And what should you look for in a professional team? Seek out tax, accounting and wealth management professionals who have family office experience and know the tax ramifications and estate planning considerations specifically affecting wealthy families. In addition, look for advisors who understand your tax and wealth planning goals and the dynamics of your family, and who will work with you in a holistic way to meet your needs. One-off services may provide the quick help you need and be affordable, but they may not provide the continuity you require for your long-term family office needs. It’s a complex undertaking, but there are professionals who can provide objectivity and the expertise you require to be a thriving enterprise.

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