When it comes to the way affluent families manage their wealth, women are no longer the silent partners.

That was the conclusion of a new study that found that wealthy women are taking on a greater role in the management of their families' assets.

Among the findings: About 88% of affluent women are either moderately or highly involved in the oversight of their wealth and assets. An overwhelming majority, 93%, discusses major purchases with their spouse.

"More than anything, the women in our study view their wealth as a source of empowerment to achieve their goals and independence," said Cynthia A. Conway, marketing manager of the wealth advisory services unit of Wilmington Trust, which commissioned the study.

"Unlike their fathers and mothers, who tended to view wealth as a demonstration of their success in life, these women view their wealth primarily as a means to pursue a path that reflects their deepest values and their desire to serve their communities," she said.

The study looked at a mix of women, but most respondents were married with children, well educated and very wealthy. Almost all graduated from college, and 50% earned a master's degree. Eight out of ten were married, including 35% who have been married more than once.

Three quarters of respondents represented their family's second-generation wealth and more than 50% had a family net worth of more than $50 million, according to Wilmington Trust.

The study found that a majority of the women were exerting more control of their family's wealth in pursuit of their philanthropic, professional and personal goals.

Despite the fact that 78% of the women grew up in families that did not openly discuss their wealth, many of them said they want to be open about money issues with their children.

Most of the women, 90%, said they spend below their means and can be cost-conscious. About 68% claimed to have a strong understanding of their assets. Many meet regularly with advisors, read investment performance reports and try to compile a complete wealth picture, according to Wilmington Trust.