Clear goals make for a smooth generational handover
Juho Pohjoismäki became a forest estate owner through a generational handover, when the previous generation decided to give up the estate. Juho’s brother did not take to forest management in the same way as Juho, so the brothers decided that Juho would take over. “It was a wonderful gesture from my brother,” says Juho, gratefully.
The handover was the result of years of pondering and planning, and was ultimately carried out around a year ago. Forest specialist Laura Koskela, who specialises in generational handovers at Metsä Group, emphasises that good planning is extremely important to ensure a successful handover. When you know what the party giving up the estate and the party continuing the work want, the forest specialist can find solutions suitable for everyone. The specialist provides concrete alternative calculations that help weigh the different solutions. And when plans are made well in advance, the forest specialist can survey the forest and plan wood trade which, if well timed, can help finance the expenses from the handover.
According to Juho, the forest specialist’s assistance was an important part of the whole project. With a puzzle consisting of several people, various tax brackets, as well as a farm, the specialist was of invaluable help in tax planning. Forest specialists know the pitfalls of taxation and can help avoid them, which can lead to considerable savings.
“Even if you read about these topics, you can never gain full certainty if you don’t work with these matters for a living,” says Juho. According to Laura, the generational handover was easy in Juho’s case, since he was already familiar with forest management. This is not always the case, and that is when the forest specialist’s expertise is even more important, since an up-to-date survey of forest assets is an absolute must.
The chain of generations continues
Juho handles most of the forestry work himself. It is important for him that the forests continue to grow well and that all the measures are carried out timely. By carrying out the work himself, Juho keeps track of the condition of his forest and immediately notices any damage and felling needs. However, wood trade is not the only source of income at forest estates these days. Juho has many plans in the making. “I’m considering chaga and reishi mushrooms, and am also looking into recreational activities as an additional source of forest income.”
In Juho’s experience, the generational handover went so well that he sees no reason to cut the chain of generations at four. In the future, Juho hopes to leave the forests to his children in an even better and more profitable shape than they were in when he got them. “I also don’t want to rule out getting more forest assets at some point.”