We have discussed this case a couple of times. You’ll remember that Thomas Kinkade passed away in April of last year, and as you can imagine, his paintings helped him amass a considerable estate. A few months ago we blogged about the dispute that was taking place between Amy Pinto, his live-in girlfriend, and his estranged wife Nanette, both claiming to be the legal heir.
At the root of this dispute was two different sets of estate planning documents. One was a formal estate plan executed by Kinkade and his wife when they were on good terms.
The other was a holographic, or handwritten pair of last wills that left $10 million to Pinto, money that was to be used to establish a museum. These wills also left her some very valuable real estate as well.
One of the factors that clouded the situation was the state of mind of Mr. Kinkade when he executed these holographic wills. They were very poorly written and hardly legible according to reports, and it was suggested that he was likely under the influence of alcohol when he created them.
The matter looked like it was headed to court, but Ms. Pinto and Ms. Kinkade were finally able to reach an agreement.
Of course, the terms of this agreement are shrouded in secrecy, so we don’t know exactly what either party will be receiving from the estate. But there is a good lesson to be learned: having the services of a licensed estate planning attorney can often be the deciding factor when a dispute arises about your estate. To learn more about protecting your assets and providing for your loved ones, contact our office today.