A resolution has been reached ending a dispute between Nanette Kinkade, the wife of the deceased painter Thomas Kinkade, and the woman that he was living with at the time of his death, Amy Pinto-Walsh.
This is an interesting story, and it is instructive to observers with regard to some of the errors that you may make that can leave behind a tangled estate.
Any time you have an existing estate plan in place and you want to add someone to your inheritance list you should discuss how to do so with a licensed estate planning attorney.
It is not a good idea to get out a pen and a piece of paper and start jotting down a last will when you already have a professionally prepared estate plan in place. It is also not advisable to attempt to execute legal documents while you have been drinking.
This is apparently what the self proclaimed “Painter of Light” Thomas Kinkade did. Pinto-Walsh was able two produce two holographic (this is the formal term for a handwritten will) wills drawn up by Kinkade that left her millions of dollars along with some valuable property.
One of the problems with the holographic wills was the possibility that the painter may have executed them while he was intoxicated. Plus, Thomas and Nanette Kinkade had an estate plan in place before they split up and no revisions to it had been made after the estrangement.
While it looked as though this case was headed to court for quite some time, there are now reports about a settlement having been reached. Amy Pinto-Walsh was required to enter into a confidentiality agreement, and in return she received a substantial cash settlement according to reports.
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Ryan M. Denman and Dennis D. Duffy
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