Frequently Asked Questions
How much wealth do I need to work with you? Do you have a minimum threshold?
Just as our client relationships are unique, so too are our parameters for starting a relationship with a client. Generally, the more complex the financial situation, the more need for assistance. Sometimes the level of complexity is directly correlated with wealth and other times it is not.
We evaluate each potential client relationship as it develops. We do not have a stated minimum relationship size, but clients with at least $10 million of investable assets are usually able to take advantage of the majority and holistic nature of our services.
What fees do you charge for your services?
As a fee-only planner, we do not accept any commissions and we do not have any fee-sharing relationships with outside providers. We do not have a stated fee schedule with minimums, maximums or breakpoints. We approach fee determination with a client as we do with our planning. Each client relationship is unique and is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Different services require different rationales for establishing fees. For example, tax service fees may be based on the approximate amount of time to prepare tax returns and projections, while investment service fees may be based on assets under management.
I have several different financial advisors already in place. How can you still be effective?
We frequently work with an existing team of advisors. Our goal is not to disturb pre-existing relationships where they are currently effective. Our goal is to make sure your existing service providers are communicating with you and with each other to provide the best services possible. It can be challenging for an estate planner to stay current with your income tax issues, just as it can be difficult for your investment advisor to stay current with your estate plan changes. We facilitate important communications among these advisors. We find the connectivity of all aspects of your planning, making all of them more effective. Our familiarity with your day-to-day life naturally leads us to stay current with your financial situation. Proactive communication is one of the hallmarks of our approach.
Our children do not currently match the financial profile of a potential client. Will you work with them?
We value multi-generational family relationships and encourage the participation, when appropriate, of younger generations in the management of their financial affairs. When active participation is not yet appropriate, we provide them with financial education in a variety of ways. We tailor this service to be appropriate for each family’s unique needs.
What are the differences between a single-family office and a multi-family office and how do I know which one is right for my family?
A single-family office offers dedicated service and undivided attention to an individual family while a multi-family office serves the needs of multiple families. A single-family office is generally more expensive and requires significant start-up, administrative and ongoing operational costs. A multi-family office combines resources and provides operational efficiency and economies of scale to its clients. Turnover of key personnel can be very disruptive within a single family office; whereas a multi-family office offers bench strength and professionals who can apply their skill sets to multiple client relationships. We are happy to discuss these and other differences and to assist you in making this important decision. When appropriate, Wellspring can serve as an extension of the services handled by a single family office.
I am considering selling my business. How can you help me?
Seeking professional advice before a significant transaction occurs is one of the best ways to preserve your family’s wealth. We practice the art before the deal and we can be your point of contact among the team of financial advisors involved in the sale of a business. There is a great deal of planning that can be done before a sale to maximize the after-tax proceeds. In addition to discussing and planning for all of the income tax, investment, and estate planning issues involved, we also facilitate discussions and planning for the non-financial issues as they relate to your family. These issues include deciding how much wealth to transfer to family and/or charity engaging in discussions and planning toward how life will be different after the sale, and working with the next generation to educate them about their growing wealth.
Are you a Registered Investment Advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)?
Yes, Wellspring is a Registered Investment Advisor. Our Form ADV is available to interested parties. For more information about Registered Investment Advisors and what you need to know before selecting one, please refer to the SEC Website.
My net worth is tied up in private businesses and investments, and I do not have much in liquid assets for you to invest. Can you still help my planning?
Our services do not rely on the management of investments in public markets. We advise several families where “assets under management” is not a key component of the relationship, and welcome the opportunity to provide current counsel to clients with operating businesses and alternate investments.