Many families are turning to family offices as a way to meet their needs, to reach their long-term goals, to provide them with greater control over their wealth and to handle their current business and personal affairs. There are many types of families therefore there are in practice many types of family offices. There can be family offices which support family members on a broad range of dimensions and family offices which are only focused on growing and running the family business.
Whether you need a family office or not requires an analysis of your situation by an experienced private client lawyer. The main objective of the family office is to oversee the asset management so if you have many valuable assets in different jurisdictions it could be a first indication that your family requires professional advice.
A well run family office should be a great benefit for the entire family. Some family offices provide basic administrative support while others oversee asset management or run the family’s daily affairs. All depends on your requirements and your philosophy.
Family offices often face distinctive challenges, which need to be professionally addressed in order to maintain the growth of the family’s fortune.
One of the most important issues, especially in the case of family-owned/closely-held business is wealth transfer. Often the next generation defines success in different terms than the previous one. Thus families ought to create governance arrangements and define the responsibilities of those members who are taking more active roles in managing the family business.
Another issue that needs to be considered is globalisation. The tax and legal environment varies throughout each country and is constantly changing. Family businesses operating in several countries have to run like a well-oiled machine – communication and risk management inside the business must be very effective.
Because of the increasing complexity of managing the family wealth, family offices are an effective way of tackling with the above challenges.
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