Family Office Services – Resilience and supporting disrupted life milestones

3 mins read

Janet Tarbet

Director, Family Office Services

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin’s famous quote is true for many families in their business and personal lives and it is important to ensure that, in such uncertain times, families can adapt and be resilient to deal with change. In this article, the second in a series on the topic of resilience, Janet Tarbet, Director of Family Office Services, looks at some of the milestones that may be disrupted at this time due to Covid-19 and offers Sandaire’s experience and advice on handling these emotionally challenging events, and how we may be able to support families.


Many significant and special milestones planned for this year may have had to be postponed or cancelled already, or will be under review as to whether they can be held later in the year, as uncertainty continues regarding travel and other social distancing measures. As we know, these events involve significant planning, organisation and cost.

Weddings, for example, are a joyous occasion, one to be shared with friends and family, creating happy memories for many years ahead. A member of the Royal Family recently had to postpone their May wedding. Beatrice York realised there is “no alternative” to moving the event to next year, for the safety of all concerned.

Sadly, you may also be experiencing similar circumstances in your family, including other key milestones such as moving house, school exams or professional exams being postponed, graduation ceremonies, special birthday parties and holidays cancelled. Whilst undoubtedly the right thing to do, it can be difficult to process emotionally, as these milestone events do not come around often in many cases.

In Sandaire’s 25-year history and the learnings gained through the journey of the Scott family and Provincial insurance before that, we have experienced many challenging times. It is important that you know we are here to help and provide support during periods of uncertainty, using our collective expertise and by utilising trusted partners where necessary, to benefit clients.

A problem shared

We mentioned weddings and like any special event,  it is not an easy task to organise or to rearrange. If you remembered to take out insurance, it will be time to call on the provider but if not, you should consider this for future plans. Hotels, flights and other travel arrangements, including the honeymoon for the bride and groom, will most likely all be subject to change.

Perhaps the purchase of a new holiday home is delayed and the design, planning, and refurbishment is now on hold; delays to these projects involve much time and effort to get them back on track.

It may be difficult to focus on all this when your business interests and own wellbeing require your full attention. We would be happy to help and can enlist the expertise of our Real Estate team to support your building project or ask a trusted partner to assist with wedding insurance and travel arrangements.

Getting organised

Perhaps it is a good time to get ahead of all those things on your ‘to do’ list and ask us to take away some of life’s administration and deal with practical necessities. We often hear families say that it would be so helpful to have everything in one place, a single ‘balance sheet’ of their finances.

The key is to decide what help you need. It may be tax planning and legal advice across multi jurisdictions, updating wills, powers of attorney or banking services. Co-ordination of this administration takes up valuable time.

Our client team can connect you with the right specialist advisers, people we know and trust. They can continue to act as the hub to ensure that both your short and longer-term needs are being met.

It is reassuring to know that you have everything you need in one place.

Future proofing

Unexpected events can often present opportunities and during this time of self-isolation you may have more time to focus on what is important to you as a family – your family values, your goals and plan for the future.

For younger family members, this may be a new experience but it presents an opportunity to give guidance and reassurance. We often find that the voice of an adviser can facilitate a much wider discussion on finances, passing on the reins and succession planning, to educate and support the next generation. It also affords the next generation the opportunity to step up and take a lead role and it is important that we support all our family members to achieve their goals.

Families need to keep communicating, more so now than ever. In these times of self-isolation, it is important to embrace technology and find ways of connecting those family members who may not be so familiar with using it.

We will continue to communicate with you throughout this time and technology allows us to keep in touch until we can meet you face to face, maintaining our role to ‘sit around the table’ with our families to ensure that they work as one and help them to see a clearer future.