Do I need a family office? Does it make sense to build and manage my own office? How would I be served by a multi-family office?

Review the following checklist to gauge your need for the integrated services of a family office.

Financial Planning

  • My financial affairs are in good order and I have the ability to allow selected family members easy and secure access to my financial records.
  • My family’s long-term goals are well defined and quantifiable.
  • I receive regular, easy to understand, consolidated reporting on all family assets, across all our entities, for all family members.
  • My advisor is proactive and regularly anticipates my family’s needs. I understand the fees I am paying to my advisors and the value I receive from their advice.

Cash-Flow Management

  • I know exactly how much capital I will need to retire and maintain my/my family’s standard of living.
  • I have a good understanding of my family’s current expenses and feel confident they are manageable over the long term.

Family Education & Governance

  • My family has frequent and healthy dialogue regarding the management of our shared assets.
  • I am confident my family’s values are known to my heirs and will be passed on to future generations.
  • I am confident that my spouse or children will be able to manage if I were to die unexpectedly.
  • I feel comfortable that my children are financially well educated and sufficiently responsible to inherit their future assets.
  • I am comfortable that my family will be well protected if one of my children gets divorced.

Investment Advisory

  • I have a written Investment Policy Statement for my portfolio, clearly stating my objectives and limitations.
  • I have a consistent review process in place and evaluate the success of my investments against relevant benchmarks.
  • I am comfortable that my asset allocation is appropriate for both my long-term goals and my risk tolerance.
  • I know I am well diversified and not overly reliant on one particular investment/asset class.
  • I know the rate of return I need from my investments to ensure my family’s long-term objectives.


  • I am confident I am taking advantage of all tax efficiencies available to me personally and to my estate.
  • I am confident that the tax location of our investment assets is optimal, as is my state of residence.
  • I understand how the use of trusts affects the taxes I pay.
  • I am confident my current advisors are considering tax efficiency when making investment recommendations.

Estate Planning

  • I am confident my estate plan accurately reflects my objectives.
  • I am confident that my designated heirs will receive my gifts without contest and that the distribution schedule and conditions are in their best interest.
  • I believe my chosen trustee(s) will remain independent and have the ability to execute my wishes.
  • My current advisor(s) regularly update me regarding tax law changes and how they may affect my estate.
  • My will has been updated within the past three years and I have properly executed powers of attorney for financial and health care purposes.

Business Consulting

  • As an owner of a closely held business, I am confident I am adequately preparing the next generation to take control of the company.
  • I anticipate a liquidity event (deferred compensation, selling partnership interests or family-held business), and I am confident that my current team of advisors is working together to ensure the event is handled in a manner that is tax efficient, in the best interest of my heirs, and reflective of my philanthropic goals.

To print a copy of the checklist, click on the link below:
FO Assessment Quiz