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Questions asked most often
by our clients

How much money do I need to start a family office?

Family groups start offices for diverse reasons. In most cases, it makes financial sense for a family with liquid wealth in excess of $100 million to start and staff its own family office. Families with a smaller net worth can access Family Office Services through a full service law firm such as Matsen Voorhees LLP.

What services does Family Office Services provide?

Family Office Services provides a broad array of services through its Counselors, Analysts, Planners, Adviser Coordinators, Licensed Implementers, Binders/Publisher, and Evaluators/Educators. At www.VFOS.com, clients can see a summary of about 200 services offered through Family Office Services and its affiliates. Services involve assistance with Investment Management and Monitoring, Financial & Tax Planning, Wealth Transfer Planning, Financial Recordkeeping & Compliance, Family Foundation Management, Client Education & Goal Development, and Comprehensive Wealth Blueprinting.

Who are the clients of Family Office Services?

We do not publish our client list in order to maintain confidentiality. Our clients are typically wealthy families or the advisers of wealthy families in the United States or in countries surrounding the Pacific Rim. Family Office Services clients’ assets range from $5 million to several billion. Our average client net worth is $30 million. Approximately half of our family office clients own some percentage of an operating company.

Why do families engage Family Office Services?

Families wish to take advantage of the 20+ benefits listed on the first 9 slides under "Quick Tour" at www.vfos.com

What does it cost to take advantage of Family Office Services?

The answer to this question depends on the goals of the office, services provided, number of entities managed, etc. Total costs are typically less than 1% of tax savings. We can usually document significant cost savings related to accessing resources through one portal, such as the virtual Family Office Services website at www.vfos.com.

What products and services do you provide?

Family Office Services (“FOS”) provides marketing tools, training, and back office planning. Experienced FOS planners use propriety software to develop comprehensive financial and estate plans. These plans, referred to as “wealth blueprints,” help affluent individuals reduce or eliminate taxes, increase transfers to children, enhance charitable giving goals, or achieve other personal and financial goals.

What products and services do you provide?

The FOS planners typically deliver seven types of services to wealthy clients. Each service corresponds to a different deliverable. Our advisers follow a process that begins as the Counselor clarifies how the client and his or her spouse want to realize any of more than 100 different goals. The counselor then summarizes the goals in a Family Wealth Statement. After goals have been clarified, the Analyst reviews how the current plan fails to achieve the goals. The analyst produces a Financial Checkup with a report card showing specifically which goals the client fails to achieve. The analyst also collaborates with a Planner to summarize the benefits and costs of planning a case that will achieve all of the client’s goals. Quantified benefits and costs are summarized in a Value Proposition Letter. The planner then works with the Adviser Coordinator, Binder Publisher, and Licensed Implementer(s), and Evaluator/Educator to develop, implement, and upgrade a tactical or full Wealth Blueprint.

What are your planning phases?

FOS planners may deliver their services throughout two or more phases. Phase 1 of the process typically begins with a discovery session. Phase 1 can be completed in just an hour or two if the client has clarity about his or her goals and his or her current situation. In most cases, however, clients welcome assistance in clarifying their goals during a family retreat that culminates with production of a Family Wealth Statement. Many clients also appreciate having their current plans analyzed to see how the current plan fails to achieve goals clarified in the Family Wealth Statement. The current plan is analyzed in a document known as a Financial Checkup.

Describe Phase 1

Phase 1 culminates with a Value Proposition Letter (“VPL”), which sets the stage for the second phase. The planning team adapts the VPL to the client’s needs. If the client just wants to reduce taxes or achieve some other specific goal, the planning team immediately discusses a relatively simple Tactical Plan or Executive Summary Plan. If the client wants a more comprehensive process, the planning team discusses a process the produces a comprehensive Family Wealth Blueprint, which illustrates an optimal combination of strategies for minimizing taxes, increasing transfers to heirs, enhancing charitable giving potential, or achieving other personal or financial goals.

Describe Phase 2

After reviewing the VPL, the client engages the Wealth Adviser for a plan in Phase 2. The client then receives a Tactical Plan illustrating just one planning tool, a Comprehensive Wealth Blueprint illustrating all tools needed to achieve the clients goals, or a Summary Blueprint that illustrates a selection of tools focused on the client’s primary needs. Fees typically start at $1,000 for tactical plans and $10,000 for comprehensive plans. The total fee is based on the complexity of the case and the time involved in planning.

Describe Phase 3

During Phase 3, the planning team will implement the plan. The Phase 3 engagement typically involves a licensed CPA, licensed lawyer, licensed stockbroker, licensed insurance agent, or other licensed professionals. After implementation, the client may enter into a Phase 4 engagement for on-going evaluation and enhancement of the plan. During Phase 4, the planning team adapts the plan to address changes in asset values, tax laws, or client goals.

What do your deliverables cost?

FOS planners typically charge a different fee for each phase of the planning process. If a client has clarity about goals and his or her current situation, Phase 1 may involve nothing more than producing a Value Proposition Letter for a price of $500 to $3,000. The VPL recommends which plan would be right for the client. (Phase 1 may also involve development of a Family Wealth Statement for $3,500 to $6,000 and a Financial Checkup for $2,500 to $5,000. These documents typically do not give advice concerning securities.) The VPL also details the costs and benefits of entering into a Phase 2 engagement. After reviewing the VPL, the client engages the Wealth Adviser for a plan in Phase 2. During Phase 2, the client receives a simple Tactical Plan illustrating just one planning tool, a Comprehensive Wealth Blueprint illustrating all tools needed to achieve the clients goals, or an Executive Summary Plan that illustrates a selection of tools designed to focus on the client's primary needs. Planning fees typically start at $1,000 for tactical plans and begin at $10,000 for comprehensive plans. The total fee is based on the complexity of the case and the time involved

How do people access your services?

Wealthy clients can access FOS in two ways. Through the Family Office Services, Inc. office in Irvine, CA, clients can work directly with FOS planners on a retail basis. Alternatively, FOS will refer clients to members of our Wealth Counselor Network. These Channel Members pay wholesale prices to access presentation materials, training, and planning systems developed by FOS staff members. Channel Members typically multiply these wholesale prices when charging retail prices to their clients.

How do you keep your customers coming back?

Advisers love to hear our success stories, and they pay for more resources in order to replicate our successes. Wealthy clients sign retainer agreements to have us meet with them regularly to update their plans.

How does your company differentiate itself from competitors?

We emphasize “the power of planning with purpose” and “uniting your planning team around your heartfelt purpose.” We explain how our wealth advisers serve clients in a deeper and more comprehensive way. We offer one-stop shopping not offered by lawyers, CPAs, stockbrokers, insurance agents, and other advisers. We help wealthy people reduce or eliminate taxes while transferring more to family members and favorite charities.

Is Income Tax Reduction Legal ?

We only recommend Income Tax Deductions and Income Tax Credit programs blessed by Congress and the courts. Our attorneys and compliance officers carefully review each program that we offer. We know that our clients want tax reduction but, more important, they want to sleep well. We simply help our clients learn about, and then excercise, their Rights and Responsibilities as United States taxpayers. Congressional laws, tax court cases, and the IRS Code are the "rebar" that we use when constructing a plan based on the Wealth Blueprints that we create for our clients.

Am I more likely to be audited if I implement income tax reduction strategies ?

Our attorneys help you learn and follow accepted tax guidelines. We do not seek to exploit "loopholes " or capitalize on "IRS secrets." We only offer solutions that are clearly legal. Nonetheless, by taking advantage of more sophisticated strategies, or strategies that involve the integration of financial and legal tools, we can often achieve benefits not available elsewhere. We encourage scrutiny from your other advisers. We can defend the tax law and financial modeling behind our recommendations.

U.S. Treasury Circular 230 requires that this firm advise you that any tax advice provided was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by you, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that the IRS could impose upon you.