The number of inheritance disputes in Finland has increased for the second year in a row, according to a new report by S-Pankki Private. The study revealed that the number of disputes rose significantly in the Kainuu, South Ostrobothnia, and Tavastia Proper district courts. In total, 1,699 inheritance-related disputes were filed in Finnish district courts in 2022, which is about 3% higher than the previous year. The report covers all inheritance-related disputes filed in Finnish district courts between 2013 and 2022.
The increase in disputes was most pronounced in the Kainuu district court, where 49% more inheritance disputes were filed than the average between 2013 and 2022. The number of disputes also increased significantly in the South Ostrobothnia (+32%) and Tavastia Proper (+22%) district courts.
Inheritance disputes are unfortunately common and can, at worst, tear a family apart for several generations. S-Pankki Private's Director Veera Kosonen, responsible for the Family Office and Wealth Planning services for affluent families, expressed concern about the trend. The team assists clients in matters related to wealth and inheritance planning.
According to the latest statistics, one in four Finnish households has a net worth of about 260,000 euros, and the wealthiest are those aged 65-74. In addition to real estate and investment assets, many families also consider generational transitions of family businesses. According to the Finnish Entrepreneurs' Administration, nearly 50,000 companies will face a change of ownership in the next ten years.
If you are concerned about your own situation, Kosonen advises seeking expert help early. One good solution is to develop a long-term wealth plan with experts' assistance that includes inheritance planning. This way, families can ensure that their wealth develops safely across generations.
"I strongly recommend turning to external legal, tax, and investment experts, as each inheritance dispute is simply too much. I hope that our report will increase awareness of wealth and inheritance planning and encourage more families to seek help in these areas," said Kosonen.
In conclusion, the increase in inheritance disputes in Finland is concerning, but it also highlights the importance of proper inheritance and wealth planning. Seeking the advice of experts can help families avoid disputes and ensure their wealth passes safely from one generation to the next.