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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A family office "is an private company that manages investments and trusts for a single wealthy family." This means that the employees of the company take care of managing the day-to-day financial activities and expenses of family members, and that they are responsible for long-range supervision of investments and expenditures.

In order for a single family to support a family office structure, there needs to be significant financial resources involved, often accumulated over more than one generation and possibly including members of an extended family such as in-laws or cousins.

Family offices may be structured into one of three basic classes, using different types of organizational formats to provide varied types of services depending upon the net worth of the family and the amount of involvement assigned to the office as opposed to the amount of responsibility retained by family trustees or other member-representatives.