Culp Elliott & Carpenter is a trusted advisor to high net worth families and asset managers and regularly advises both in connection with family office services. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “it requires a great deal of boldness and a great deal of caution to make a great fortune, and when you have got it, it requires ten times as much wit to keep it.” We represent numerous successful families to help them preserve and protect their wealth. Assisting families with their planning and business needs through the use of family offices is one of our core practices.

We offer a tradition of innovation and significant intellectual capital gained from helping generations of families preserve and protect great wealth. Depending on the needs of the particular family office, we may act as a family’s complete family office, assist a family office in certain services, or assist in the establishment of a family office.

Many of our family office client’s holdings include complex asset portfolios consisting of one or more closely-held businesses, concentrated pools of public stock, and real estate. We counsel family offices on complex shareholder and operating agreements integral to preserving family harmony and fairness, including rewarding those who contribute most to the welfare and betterment of the family while still providing security to the family members who choose different paths.


  • General counsel of family-owned businesses
  • Trust, estate and gift planning
  • Creation of flexible “dynasty trusts”
  • Business succession planning
  • Intra-family ownership transfers
  • Next generation business opportunities (acquisitions, start-ups or other business pursuits)
  • Corporate governance matters including family office agreements and shareholders’ agreements
  • Federal and state income tax planning
  • Pre-nuptial wealth planning and family counseling
  • Formation and maintenance of trust companies
  • Domestic and foreign asset protection trusts
  • Private equity and venture capital investments
  • Probate and estate administration
  • Philanthropy planning including the formation of non-profits, charitable trusts and foundations
  • Purchase and divestiture of family-owned businesses and real property

With a clear understanding of these areas, we know that a well-structured plan and execution of that plan is critical for wealth to transcend multiple generations. Using cost-effective strategies, we create and implement practical and flexible plans to meet the needs of family offices. We are committed to meeting the needs of the families we represent and the businesses they own. We are proud of our national reputation for helping family offices design and implement structures that protect and transfer wealth and businesses to future generations.