Matina Agio - The Inheritance Muse


31 October 2021

50 mins 39 secs

Season 2

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

Matina Agio is a personal inheritance consultant. Her work inspires a deeper perspective into inheritance - beyond the legal and financial. She provides niche counselling, facilitating her clients- often in midlife, to resolve inheritance-related dilemmas, manage their possessions and create a meaningful legacy.

Through her signature method - THE INHERITANCE MUSE METHOD™, she addresses both the tangible and intangible aspects of their inheritance, heritage & wealth. Matina’s clients include art collectors, historic home owners, affluent individuals and family office members around the world. Matina’s experience of living & working in England, France, Germany, Italy, US, Canada and Greece, allows her to address their varying backgrounds.

Standout Quotes:

  • "For me, the main wealth of our inheritance lies in the intangible inheritance because it is that which is not vulnerable, and it is that which probably the most influential" - [Matina]
  • "A bad experience may turn out to be a very wealthy experience, it depends on how we process that...sometimes we receive good gifts in bad packages" - [Matina]
  • "Objects are storytellers, they contain memory" - [Matina]
  • "We just give our kids things, but we should give them stories with our things" - [Matina]
  • "The value of something to us is always what our experience of it is" - [Matina]
  • "Our ownership is a symphony of things put together, and we as good conductors have to master that symphony... so we can have harmonious wealth" - [Matina]
  • "It's not what happens to you but what you do with what happens to you" - [Matina]
  • "There are people who own a lot of things and experience very little value and then there are people who have very little things and they experience a lot of value" - [Matina]
  • "The legacy of someone and the effect that they have in your life can never be taken away... that's the most meaningful part of the wealth that you can give others" - [Matina]
  • "Research shows that family wealth is almost never lost due to poor financial decisions, its almost always lost by a breakdown in relationships and communication with co-inheritors" - [Mike]
  • "You cannot make decisions without understanding who you are because who you are will affect how that thing will play out in your life" - [Matina]

Key Takeaways:

  • Matina describes an "Inheritance Muse" as someone who inspires others in relation to their inheritance. Inheritance can either be tangible or intangible. The intangible inheritance is more important because it is more influential and less vulnerable. It affects our beliefs, attitude towards life, abilities, and self-confidence.
  • Since parents are not perfect, sometimes we get good gifts in bad packages, so to understand intangible inheritance, sometimes we have to open our minds and look at what is there and how we can manage it so it adds value to us.
  • Describing how she started her work with inheritance, Matina shares her back story; although born in Athens, her family had to relocate to Canada following a political event that made the family unsafe. A key determining factor in her career was the heritage and culture her parents brought from Athens, which influenced her greatly.
  • This spurred her on to study interior design and renovation of historic homes and eventually become a cultural entrepreneur. Following the death of her parents, she inherited the home in Athens and had to curate everything by herself and started to work on also curating the influence her parents had on her as part of the legacy for her children.
  • Storytelling is the center of Matina's work; using the stories behind objects owned by clients to resolve issues. Parents need to tell stories about their things to their children because it is unlikely for a child to sell something that has a story to it.
  • When navigating inheritance and trying to be a custodian of what has been left behind, employing the concept of "Gratitude" is highly efficacious, in that it helps to understand the value of these things. This gives a reason to own these things and helps us know what our relationship was like with those who left them behind.
  • The Legacy Scale: This is a process to understand the personal value of any property to a person irrespective of the market value.
  • 2 classes of Real Estate: Objective Real Estate is the first type and it includes properties that have value but no particular personal relationship. Assets such as family homes on the other hand make up the second type of Real Estate which is usually more complicated and may involve co-inheritance.
  • There are 3 ways you can value something: First is the intrinsic value which is the value of that thing for itself without the market value. The second is the synergetic value which is the value of something in relation to the other properties owned by a person, or the impact it may have on other aspects of wealth. The last is the subjective value which is the question of "what does this mean to me?
  • Matina shares that she only works with individuals and not groups, because with an individual, issues can be dealt with in-depth and with speed. Even if the inheritance involves other people, by working with one person you change the constellation because the most important thing for a person to understand is " "What do I want?". The goal is to empower the individual to see how the inheritance fits into his life purpose and what action needs to be taken.
  • Matina describes the idea of "Life closure by design"; preferably the age of 50 is the ideal time to be more conscious about life closure, especially having light ownership and getting clarity on what will be left behind using "the Inheritance Muse method".
  • For the younger generation who are about to receive, it is very important to create conversations with your parents on things they feel strongly about, their lives, and their values.
  • When we have a relationship with something, the value of that thing is the value to us, not the monetary worth. Rather than keep that thing locked away, Matina advises people to use it in their lives in a more natural way.
  • What we do with our inheritance has two aspects; the first is to optimize it and use it so we can create happiness for ourselves, the second is to preserve what we can so we can give it to the next generation with stories and history.
  • The work of the Inheritance Muse is to help people understand where the real value is, in their assets. Matina explains a term called Wealth Dyslexia as the inability to grasp the scope and range of your wealth in a way that will give you value
  • Regarding the sale of property with a history, Matina highlights that it may not be possible to keep everything but properties can be sold with the story which adds value to it. Selling a property can help the owner feel lighter and focus more on things that have particular value to them.
  • Legacy is the effect that our lives have on other people's lives whether good or bad. Daily, we are curating our legacy, by who we are, what we do, and what we say. It's never too late to work on this.
  • The awareness of the certainty of death is empowering as it should give the ability to live life more intentionally and assess the impact of our ideals in our lives.
  • Inheritance is a gift given, we have to look at this and say, "what do I want with this?" It is important to look at it in a nonmonetary way, so we can know its effect on our lives. This is also covered in the "Inheritance Muse method". Understanding who you are is as simple as finding out where you are in your life and what you want.
  • From Matina to her kids: Resilience is very important and also finding time to tune into your deeper voice within. You have a choice in every moment. We are free to choose how we see something and how we respond.

Episode Timeline:

  • [00:50] Meet today's guest, "Matina Agio, a personal inheritance consultant.
  • [01:43] Matina describes what it means to be an "Inheritance Muse".
  • [03:39] What separates intangible inheritance from pure legacy?
  • [06:28] How did you find yourself on this path?
  • [16:56] How do you navigate inheritance?
  • [19:00] Is Real Estate more difficult to manage than other items of value?
  • [23:32] How often are you working with individual inheritors compared to co-inheritors?
  • [26:35] How do people engage you, and when?
  • [36:44] How do people go about deciding to let go of an asset with family history?
  • [39:35] Matina's insight on 'Legacy'.
  • [45:31] How should one approach inheritance?
  • [48:15] Matina's letter to her kids

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Episode Links

  • Matina Agio — Matina Agio is a Greek-Canadian personal inheritance consultant. She has been involved with her heritage since childhood. Both her parents had a strong appreciation for Hellenic culture and values. Her father was a banker, earlier Greek-resistance fighter and advocate of Stoic philosophy. Her mother, a Swiss-trained artist was a characteristic aesthete & avid collector.
  • How can the next generation turn pre-contemporary art into meaningful wealth - Simple — Article By Matina Agio