“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.

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