Some of our lawyers serve as family advisors and provide some or all of the services of a family office. The role of a family advisor is to become and remain aware of evolving family dynamics and financial positions and to be pro-active and innovative with respect to wealth accumulation, preservation and distribution to family members in a sensible and tax-advantaged manner.
Family office services include estate, financial and retirement planning; investment management oversight; estate, gift and income tax advice and returns; preparation of fiduciary accountings; employee oversight (including hiring, firing and all payroll matters); and bill paying.
In our experience, early and unfettered access to wealth can produce undesired consequences. A more disciplined approach to wealth access is more likely to promote the personal traits clients seek to instill in succeeding generations, as well as provide divorcing spouse and creditor protections.
We also have developed a “mentor trustee” concept for our documents to help spouses and descendants acquire the skills necessary to be their own trustees, where that is a goal of the estate plan.