By John Ensor •
Published: 28 Sep 2023 • 20:42
A surprise was in store for a small town in Finland when they received a fortune from an unlikely source.
In a surprising turn of events, the small municipality of Askola discovered it was the sole beneficiary of a substantial inheritance worth around €1 million, left by a seemingly modest man who passed away earlier this spring.
The late benefactor, a resident of Askola, had penned the will back in the 1990s, unbeknownst to the municipality. Tuija Saloranta, Askola’s administrative director, revealed to YLE that the news was unexpected, as the will had been crafted decades ago.
Saloranta, who had exchanged greetings with the benefactor in a ‘small farmstead’, was taken aback by the generous bequest. ‘A man of modest appearance. Yes, this surprised us, such a big legacy. We are really happy and grateful,’ she expressed.
The inheritance comprises monetary assets and parcels of forest and field. The will stipulates that the funds are to be allocated for the welfare and leisure of Askola’s elderly population. Additionally, the benefactor desired the maintenance of family graves.
Multi-million inheritances are a rarity for Askola. Saloranta mentioned that the municipality occasionally receives legacies, particularly when close relatives are absent, but the sums are typically modest. However, this isn’t the first instance of a municipality in the vicinity receiving a substantial legacy.
Pukkila, north of Askola, had previously inherited a significant amount from Onni Nurmi, who passed away in 1962. Nurmi’s assets included over 700 shares valued at around FIM 30 million in 1997, a figure that has since multiplied. The funds were designated ‘for the recreation of the elderly in the old people’s home in Pukkila municipality’.
Askola is yet to finalise the utilisation of the newfound wealth. Saloranta anticipates that a portion of the funds will likely be invested. ‘We are trying to do something extra that the municipality would otherwise not be able to do. Perhaps some events aimed at the elderly, so that they feel they are getting refreshment,’ she speculated.
This unexpected windfall has brought joy and anticipation to the community of Askola. The municipality is eager to honour the benefactor’s wishes and enhance the lives of its elderly residents through this generous legacy.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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