Family offices can serve many purposes. They may help younger generations to manage wealth and pay their bills on time. Every family is unique, just as each family is different.
While each family's needs may be different, there are certain characteristics that all family offices can have in common. These practices enable offices to offer the highest level of service to families they manage.
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First, the family office must align its goals with the families. Family offices that are successful will offer objective and independent advice. Managers should not receive compensation from clients directly, and they should work with professionals who can offer the same advice when seeking outside help.
Although the services provided "in-house" may vary in their scope of offerings, staff should ensure that they are able to access outside assistance from professionals with transparent and independent compensation structures. This will allow them to provide objective advice and work.
Superior family offices will not manage any of their many services alone. A superior family office will not handle any one of its many services in isolation. It can coordinate financial and legal decisions within the context of an individual's entire affairs as well as those of multiple generations.
These generations may have different goals, interests, or needs. Although an office may not be able to provide all of these services, it should coordinate all services that it provides, and any work performed by professionals within its jurisdiction.
Many family offices cover the essential but basic administrative tasks that one or more members of their family have to perform.