Financial Firms Offer a New Service to Wealthy Clients: Family History

Want someone to trace your family tree for you? If you are wealthy, several firms will be glad to do so. For a fee, of course. Financial firms working with ultrahigh-net worth clients increasingly are offering a new service to go along with their investment-management, estate-planning and tax-advice offerings: chronicling the family’s history.

These services can include anything from tracing the family’s ancestry to full-production biographical videos to historical role-playing presentations geared toward heirs as young as 4. Prices may range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce expansive films with full crews, professional sound and lighting, hair and makeup and even aerial footage shot by drones. However, some firms such as Abbot Downing, the ultrahigh net worth wealth-management unit of Wells Fargo & Co., have in-house teams that provide family-history services to their wealthiest clients at no extra charge.

The Wall Street Journal has an article by Emily Glazer that describes the family tree services offered. The article is available at

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