The so-called “Painter of Light” Thomas Kinkade left us in April, and the cause of death was listed as “acute intoxication.” We are touching upon the cause because it is relevant to the estate struggle that has been left behind in the wake of Kinkade’s passing.
Kinkade was legally married at the time of his death, and his wife’s name is Nanette. Two years before the painter’s untimely death (he was just 54) Nanette filed for divorce, but it was not final at the time of his passing.
A formal, professionally constructed estate plan had been constructed by the Kinkades and it had not been updated to make any changes after the separation.
But during much of the time between the divorce filing and his death Kinkade had been living with a girlfriend, Amy Pinto-Walsh.
Pinto-Walsh is in possession of two wills that she says Kinkade wrote out by hand, and as you might expect they provide for her. However, handwriting experts say that Kinkade must have been highly intoxicated when he wrote them because of the horrendous quality of the writing.
This is a matter that will play itself out before the courts because the two women involved don’t seem to share the same perspective.
These celebrity cases provide some food for thought. If you have not updated your estate plan recently to reflect any life changes that you may have undergone, you may want to speak with a good Central New Jersey estate planning lawyer sooner rather than later.