Galloway and Collens, PLLC
248-397-5507
248-397-5507

Thomas Kinkade estate at center of probate dispute

The death of a loved one can be a difficult matter to handle. Emotions are riding high and level heads are few and far between. If the deceased is without a will to specifically advise survivors on how to distribute the estate's assets and survivors disagree on what should happen to the estate, matters can get complicated quickly. In cases such as this, probate litigation will ensue in order to provide a resolution, as this story demonstrates. That is why it is so important for Michigan residents and others elsewhere to plan for the unexpected with a will or trust.

Artist Thomas Kinkade died unexpectedly in April of this year. He is survived by a widow and a girlfriend. The two women are battling in probate court to determine what assets belong to which woman. At the time of his death, Kinkade resided with his girlfriend, who claims he left two handwritten notes depicting his wishes before his death. The details of the notes allegedly leave the house and $10 million to her. Part of this money, she claims was intended for the establishment of a museum on the property they shared so that his work may be showcased. His widow contends his belongings and art should be removed from the property.

In the most recent court hearing, Kinkade's girlfriend agreed to pay $11,000 a month in rent to stay at the San Francisco Bay property she shared with the painter, which includes a mansion. However, the dispute continues in the matter of the paintings, furniture and other possessions. For the upcoming Dec ember probate court hearing, both women were told to bring a list of items to which they thought they were entitled.

In cases such as this, it may be advisable to seek advice on how to proceed in a manner that protects your rights. Probate representation may be necessary in order to provide some much-needed peace of mind during your time of bereavement and ensure your loved one's wishes are carried out the way he or she would have wanted.

Source: The Oakland Press, "Late painter's girlfriend agrees to pay $11K rent," Sept.18, 2012.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • dbusiness - 2016 Top Lawyers
  • dbusiness - Top Lawyers
  • Lead Counsel Rated Attorney
  • Senior & Caregiver
  • American Appartment Owners Association - Member since 2015
  • Same Address
  • ICLE Contributor
Email Us For A Response

Contact Our Metro Detroit Attorneys

Our law firm is ready to help. Contact the real estate and estate planning attorneys at Galloway and Collens, PLLC, by calling 248-397-5507.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

26075 Woodward Avenue Suite 200 Huntington Woods, MI 48070-1341 Toll Free: 888-349-0309 Phone: 248-397-5507 Fax: 248-545-2520 Huntington Woods Law Office Map