The artist Thomas Kinkade passed away a little while back, and he left behind an estate that was estimated to be valued at $66 million. At the time of his passing he was still legally married, but estranged; his wife Nanette had filed for divorce about two years before her husband’s untimely death.
In many cases involving high profile individuals the estate planning news revolves around a lack of a proper estate plan. With Kinkade there was in fact a professionally prepared estate plan in place that was constructed before the divorce proceedings started.
During the separation Kinkade began to live with his girlfriend, a woman named Amy Pinto-Walsh. They were reportedly living together for the 18 months preceding Kinkade’s death.
Pinto-Walsh was not included in the estate planning documents that were prepared according to accepted legal standards. But, apparently Kinkade wrote out two holographic wills leaving Pinto-Walsh $10 million, his house, and a neighboring residence that he owned.
An analyst who has examined these handwritten documents states that Kinkade must have been intoxicated when he created them due to the poor quality of the script. It is useful to point out the fact that the cause of Kinkade’s death was acute intoxication.
Nanette and Pinto-Walsh are not seeing eye to eye so this case will presumably be decided by the courts.
If you would like to revise your existing estate plan it is advisable to do it the right way. Sit down and explain your wishes to a licensed South Carolina estate planning attorney and allow your lawyer to record them in an unquestionable, legally binding manner.