Inheritance is becoming an increasingly important source of wealth in Finland

HERITAGES in Finland will increase in both number and value as large age groups die and pass on their wealth to future smaller generations, reports YLE.

Hannu Nummiaroeconomist at Lähi-Tapiola, told the Finnish public broadcasting corporation last week that the number of inheritances distributed to beneficiaries is expected to increase by 20% by 2045.

With the wealth of the country increasing and focusing more and more on the older age brackets, the importance of inheritances increases.

“Over the past decade, Finnish wealth has grown in value significantly,” he said.

Statistics from the Finnish Tax Authority indicate that the total value of inheritances has varied between six and seven billion euros per year, translating into approximately 600 to 700 million euros in revenue from inheritance tax. While the average inheritance is worth around €40,000, the majority of inheritances are smaller, with around 60% of beneficiaries inheriting less than €20,000 each year.

Inheritance duties do not apply to inheritance shares of less than 20,000 euros.

“Geographical differentiation of wealth and inheritance distributions has the combined effect that in future a larger share of total wealth is likely to be held by a smaller group of Finns,” Nummiaro said.

There has been relatively little research on successions due to the difficulty of obtaining longer-term data on successions and their evolution, Matti Tuomala, emeritus professor of economics at the University of Tampere, told YLE. He thinks the lack of data is indicative of a reluctance to shed light on wealth.

“Not everyone has an interest in the question, or they have an interest but rather in how it makes them think let’s not dwell on the subject,” he commented, adding that he finally had to point the finger at the Finnish Parliament.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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