The answer to this question should serve as a mission statement that guides how all future decisions regarding the family office will be made. The mission may include managing risk, controlling costs, processing information and protecting family members.
While the family office typically serves wealth creators and their children, it can serve whomever you wish. Having clear guidelines will help to manage expectations and navigate challenges, especially if someone ultimately chooses to leave the family office.
The most common services provided by family offices are based on collective access to professional advisors. The next most common service is related to information management — providing timely data and analysis to family members and family office executives is an important function of the office.
The legal entity you create and where it is located is driven by the family's unique jurisdictional, regulatory and tax considerations. While there is a tendency to locate the family office where the matriarch and/or patriarch are based, it may be beneficial to consider other locations that provide access to different legal and investment opportunities.