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When Should Family Office Executives Consider Long-Term Addiction Treatment?

Family Office Executives manage affluent families’ complex and multifaceted needs, including financial planning, investment management, and sometimes personal matters. In their role, they may encounter situations where a family member’s substance use disorder (SUD) impacts not only the individual’s health and well-being but also the family’s financial stability and legacy. In our experience, there are some critical circumstances under which a Family Office Executive might refer a person to long-term, chronic addiction treatment like Burning Tree Ranch.

Who We Are

Burning Tree Ranch is a specialty program dedicated to the treatment of chronic addiction and mental health. Our program is long-term, progress-based, and highly intensive. Since 1999, we have supported countless referring professionals in delivering ethical, high-quality solutions to the clients and families they represent.

Circumstances for Referral to Long-Term Treatment

Financial Irresponsibility and Losses

Noticing significant economic losses, erratic spending, or unexplained withdrawals that suggest a family member is mismanaging funds due to addiction.

Impact on Family Business

Observing that the individual's substance use negatively affects their performance, decision-making, or responsibilities within a family-owned business, potentially jeopardizing its operations and reputation.

Legal Issues and Reputation Risks

Encountering legal problems tied to the individual's substance use, such as DUIs, arrests, or litigation, could tarnish the family's reputation and lead to financial liabilities.

Family Concerns and Dynamics

Receiving expressions of concern from other family members about the individual's well-being and the impact of their substance use on family relationships and dynamics.

Health Deterioration

Witnessing a noticeable decline in the individual's physical health, mental health, or overall well-being that can be attributed to long-term substance use.

Observations Informing the Need

In these situations, a Family Office Executive’s responsibility extends beyond financial advisement to include a duty of care toward the family’s well-being. By recommending addiction treatment, the executive can help address the root cause of the observed issues, support the individual’s recovery journey, and safeguard the family’s interests. The approach should be handled with sensitivity, confidentiality, and respect for the individual’s privacy and autonomy, often involving a collaborative effort with other professionals to ensure the best outcome for the individual and the family.

Behavioral Changes: Significant changes in behavior, mood swings, or withdrawal from family activities and responsibilities may indicate a struggle with addiction.

Financial Patterns: Patterns of economic instability, such as requests for money without reasonable explanations or the liquidation of assets, can signal underlying issues with substance use.

Physical Appearance: Deterioration in physical appearance, signs of neglecting personal hygiene, or other visible signs of substance abuse.

Social Withdrawal: Withdrawing from social engagements, family gatherings, or professional responsibilities is often accompanied by isolation.

Direct Disclosures: The individual may directly share their struggles with substance use with the Family Office Executive, seeking help or expressing a desire to change.

Arches at Burning Tree Ranch in Kaufman, TX
Patterns of economic instability, such as requests for money without reasonable explanations or the liquidation of assets, can signal underlying issues with substance use.

The Family Office Executive's Role: Championing Health and Recovery

The responsibility of a Family Office Executive to recommend long-term chronic addiction treatment to a client intertwines professional duty with a deep commitment to the holistic well-being of the family they serve. While their primary role focuses on financial and estate management, the comprehensive nature of their responsibilities often requires addressing personal and health-related issues that impact the family’s stability and legacy.

Holistic Approach to Family Well-being

Family Office Executives are tasked with ensuring the family’s overall well-being, which includes recognizing and acting upon health issues such as substance use disorders that can significantly affect individual members and the family unit.

Maintaining privacy and trust is paramount. When recommending addiction treatment, it’s crucial to approach the matter with sensitivity, ensuring the family member’s privacy and dignity are respected.

Professional Judgment and Ethical Considerations

While not healthcare providers, Family Office Executives must use their judgment to identify when a family member’s substance use impacts their health, financial stability, or the family’s dynamics, necessitating a referral to professionals who specialize in addiction treatment.

There is a moral duty to act when a family member’s behavior poses a risk to themselves or others or significantly undermines the family’s financial or social standing. In this case, recommending treatment aligns with the executive’s role in preserving the family’s well-being and legacy.

Practical Implementation

Part of the responsibility includes providing the family with information on reputable addiction treatment programs and possibly facilitating the initial contact or arranging a consultation, always with the family’s consent.

Executives might also explore ways to incorporate treatment costs into the family’s financial planning, ensuring that seeking help does not become a financial burden.

Collaborative Effort

Family Office Executives may collaborate with healthcare professionals, therapists, and counselors to develop a support network that addresses the individual’s health needs and the family’s concerns.

Encouraging open communication within the family about the importance of health and recovery and organizing family meetings with professionals can also be part of their role, fostering a supportive environment for the individual seeking treatment.

Colorized Grain Silos at Burning Tree Ranch

Empowering Recovery: Family Office Executives Paving the Way to Treatment

Family Office Executives, by virtue of their comprehensive role in managing the affairs of the families they represent, are uniquely positioned to motivate family members towards seeking and completing treatment for substance use disorders (SUD). Their approach can blend understanding, strategic leverage, and the alignment of treatment with the family’s broader goals.


  • Aligning Treatment with Family Values and Goals: Executives can highlight how seeking treatment aligns with the family’s values, such as health, stability, and legacy preservation. By connecting the idea of treatment to the family’s core principles, the motivation to seek help can be reinforced.
  • Educating on the Benefits: Demonstrating the tangible benefits of treatment, including improved health, restored relationships, and financial stability, can motivate individuals to consider treatment. This might involve presenting evidence or testimonials about the efficacy of treatment programs.
  • Personalizing the Impact: Discussing the specific impacts of substance use on the individual’s life and responsibilities within the family and the family’s reputation and financial situation can create a powerful incentive for seeking treatment.

Incorporating Leverage for Treatment

  • Financial Incentives: Executives can work with the family to set up financial incentives for seeking and completing treatment. This might involve conditional access to funds, where meeting certain treatment milestones unlocks financial benefits or resources.
  • Estate Planning Leverage: Collaborating with estate planners, they can incorporate stipulations into trusts or wills that condition certain benefits on completing a treatment program, effectively using the family’s estate planning to encourage recovery efforts.
  • Facilitating Access to Top-Tier Treatment: By leveraging the family office’s resources, executives can enable access to high-quality treatment programs, removing barriers to entry such as long waitlists or financial constraints and thus making the treatment option more attractive.
  • Support Structure: Building a robust support structure around the individual, including family support meetings and coordination with healthcare professionals, can provide the emotional and logistical backing needed to motivate someone to seek and complete treatment.
  • Monitoring and Accountability: Setting up a system of accountability, where the individual’s progress in treatment is monitored and communicated within agreed-upon boundaries, can help maintain motivation. This could include regular check-ins with the executive or designated family members, creating a sense of responsibility and community support.

Family Office Executives must approach the subject with sensitivity, respecting the individual’s privacy and autonomy while emphasizing the mutual benefits of treatment for both the individual and the family. Through encouragement, strategic planning, and leveraging available resources, they can effectively motivate family members to pursue and complete addiction treatment, thus safeguarding both the individual’s well-being and the family’s legacy.

Asking the Right Questions

Considering Long-Term Treatment for Your Client

The Need to Act

What are the circumstances?

What are the circumstances under which you may refer a person to long-term, chronic addiction treatment? What are you observing that informs you of the need to act?

Fiduciary Duty

What Is Your Professional Responsibility?

Do you have a moral or fiduciary responsibility to make a recommendation for long–term chronic addiction treatment for your client?

Motivation for Completing Treatment

What can be leveraged to motivate the client?

What motivation for treatment might you be able to create as a trusted professional serving a family’s best interest? How might you incorporate leverage for the client to go and complete treatment?

How Do I Know If My Loved One is a Fit for Burning Tree Ranch?

Answer a Few Short Questions

Authentic Long-Term Treatment

Burning Tree specializes in treatment for Chronic Relapse

We understand the complex, multi-faceted issues many of our families face when it comes to addiction. The circumstances of long-term residential treatment allow us to create a treatment program unlike anything else in the world.

Operating outside the limitations of a traditional 30, 60 or 90-day format, Burning Tree adheres to progress-based metrics that inform the clinical treatment team of the unique mental, emotional and spiritual needs of the individual.

We are the only treatment center in the United States that combines time-intensive residential treatment with a therapeutically coordinated aftercare program focused singularly on the treatment of chronic relapsers.

Burning Tree is a World-Renown Organization

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