We reported on this story some time ago but there has been a new development.
A last will that is constructed completely by hand is called a holographic will. The painter Thomas Kinkade, who died last April, apparently executed two different holographic wills leaving significant resources to his girlfriend Amy Pinto.
One can legally construct a holographic last will, but in the case of Thomas Kinkade there were some complications.
These documents were very poorly written and difficult to decipher. An expert who was asked to look at them concluded that the testator must have been intoxicated. This particular testator was a world-class artist who understood how to put a pen to a piece of paper.
The state of mind of the testator is part of the equation. The other important factor is the existence of an estate plan that was constructed by Kinkade along with his wife Nanette. The two were still legally married at the time of Kinkade’s death though Nanette had filed for divorce two years before his passing.
Initially Nanette was not prepared to accept the holographic wills as holding any sway. It appeared as though it would be up to the courts to decide the matter.
We have now heard that the case has been settled out-of-court. The details of the arrangement have not been revealed to the general public.
When you hear about this case you understand why it is important to speak with your estate planning lawyer when your life changes in a significant way. If Kinkade did in fact want to make sure that Pinto was provided for he should have spoken with a licensed attorney.