Having a family meeting is one of the most important steps you can take in ensuring your wishes are carried out. Bringing your family together to discuss important financial matters is essential both now and in the long term. Your family dynamics are unique. You know what’s important to your goals and to each member of your family. However, you also need to communicate information, make key decisions, and plan for the future, as well as your wealth, in the years to come.
What Is a Single Family Office?
You may hear a great deal about family office. Single family office is a term describing the organizational structure that ultimately manages the wealth of one family. SFO, as it is often referred to, specifically focuses on the needs and desires of the underlying family. Because of this, there are many unique components of these structures. Some of these organizations are just a few people working towards investment goals while others are large, robust organizations with an in-house staff managing a much larger structure.
Comparatively, multi-family offices or MFO is another consideration. Here, the organization is not built on or focused on just one family’s goals. Rather, it is focused on a number of individuals. In many ways, this model is much like a traditional wealth management or investment company that handles the needs of several affluent clients. In some cases, the groupings are of families with similar goals, but there is also a trend to have more people with a larger diversity in backgrounds. There’s no single rule for who can be included here.
The Value of Utilizing Family Meeting Organizations
Individuals and families with a significant amount of wealth need to make key decisions about what their goals are. During a family meeting, individuals need to come together to discuss these topics with the sole purpose of guiding a single family office or multi-family office in the right direction. Key topics to discuss are often varied, based on the family’s needs but may include:
- Family dynamics – who is responsible for what, what are the specific goals and leadership roles within the organization and family.
- Multi-generational wealth transfer – decisions about when, how, and what are important here, but the organization can help to ensure financials move from one generation to the next.
- Family wealth education – not only educating the family on the company’s wealth and motives, but also gathering information about goals and establishing key guidelines.
- Gifting, estate, and inheritance – again, key decisions are made based on the goals of the family in these areas.
A family intervention of sorts, this type of organization aids not only in helping each member of the group to have access to the funds necessary, but also to ensure finances are building, wealth is growing, and the family’s goals are met, both now and in the long term. The proper structure of such an organization must be considered by all members in the family or those leading the wealth building.