“Painter of Light” Estate Already Embroiled in Legal Fight

Having died in early April, the so-called “painter of light,” Thomas Kinkade, left behind a legacy as being one of the most well-known popular painters, as well as a savvy businessman. He has also left behind an estate that has already found itself in a courtroom fight.

Mr. Kinkade apparently died in his sleep on the night of April 6th in his Northern California home. He shared this home with his girlfriend, Amy Pinto-Walsh. Ms. Pinto-Walsh had been Mr. Kinkade’s personal assistant, but the two had apparently been living together for about 18 months. At the time of his death, Mr. Kincade was still married and apparently separated from his wife Nanette Kinkade.

On the night of his death, Ms. Pinto-Walsh called 911 and stated that Mr. Kinkade had been drinking the previous evening. A former alcoholic, Mr. Kinkade struggle with alcohol had been widely known, and many media outlets picked up on this aspect of the case. Because Ms. Pinto-Walsh was Mr. Kinkade’s personal assistant, she had apparently signed a confidentiality agreement that prevented her from speaking about various aspects of Mr. Kinkade’s life.

After the revelations made on the 911 call, representatives of Mrs. Kinkade and the Kinkade Family Trust filed for a restraining order in a California court. The order stated that Ms. Pinto-Walsh could not reveal further personal information about Mr. Kinkade.

Though the court issued the order, it does not appear to have been served on Ms. Pinto-Walsh. Representatives of the involved parties have stated that the matter has been settled personally, and whether the order is ever filed is unknown. What is also unknown is what, if any, effect this will have on any estate matters once the Kinkade estate is brought before a probate court.

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

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