WilsonPrice Gets Personal
By David Zaslawsky
MONTGOMERY – A local company president wanted to buy his daughter a house in Florida.
But he is a busy executive and didn’t have time to work out all the details. As a client of WilsonPrice Family Office Services, everything was taken care of. Family Office Services even negotiated a 5 percent discount on the selling price.
Family Office Services hired the movers and handled “all the legal and financial details,” said Brenda Hellums, director of Family Office Services. “The real estate agent came to our office and everything was completed in a matter of 15-20 minutes. Our client was not hassled in any way. He depended on me completely.”
Those are just a few of the services that Family Office provides. Simply put, Family Office Services handles a client’s personal finances and that even includes negotiating a discount on a vehicle.
“We manage payments and renting of vacation homes,” Hellums said. “We transfer money; we coordinate special events. An individual wanted to have a wedding on a client’s property. We were the liaison between the person and the special event. We also evaluate local assisted living facilities for family members.”
Hellums said a client recently passed away and their son was living in another state. Family Office Services hired people to clean out the client’s house and clean it up. Others were hired to cut the grass and make repairs so the house could be sold. A real estate agent was contacted and despite the housing downturn, there was a contract on the house in a short period of time.
“The son thanked us for handling everything,” Hellums said. “Those are the things that we do.”
There is no shortage of services that are provided, including sorting a client’s mail, filing insurance forms, monitoring financial transactions, balancing checking accounts, paying bills, assisting with the coordination of caregivers, paperless storage of bills and an annual CD.
“We help the executive that’s too busy to take care of their own world,” Hellums said. “We help retired executives who may be accustomed to an administrative assistant handling all their bills for them. They are not used to opening their mail, paying their day-to-day bills, balancing their checking account. They never had to do those things for themselves. We also provide services for the elderly who are unable to do some things for themselves.”
Hellums said the firm has a system in place to monitor bills, which enables employees to red flag expenses higher than an expected range. She said a homeowner was out of town and the firm noticed that the water bill was more than expected. Family Office told the owner’s yard person there was a problem and he repaired it.
“We called the water company and said there was a leak,” Hellums recalled. “They reduced the bill a small percentage and when the client came back, it had all been taken care of.”
Family Office Services charges an hourly fee, Hellums said. Those services can range from about $200 a month to $2,000-plus.
“You do not have to be a WilsonPrice tax client to utilize Family Office Services,” Hellums said. “There is a huge savings for clients because we give them a CD or printout or send it directly to their tax preparer. All of the information is categorized like a CPA (certified public accountant) likes it to be. The tax preparer can take care of their clients in a more efficient way.”