Estate planning attorneys advise clients to look at estate planning as a process rather than a one-time event. Life doesn’t stand still, and when you go through changes you may have to update your estate plan.
In addition to things that happen within your own life there are things that happen throughout society as a whole that can also make an estate plan revision necessary.
A second suggestion that you will often hear from experienced attorneys pertains to do-it-yourself estate planning. If you do things on your own you may make errors that render the last will invalid.
Both of these factors come into play when you examine the case of the deceased painter Thomas Kinkade. Kinkade concocted two holographic or handwritten last wills before his death, leaving the home he was living in to his girlfriend Amy Pinto-Walsh.
In these documents he also left her $10 million that was supposed to be used to establish a museum that would display Kinkade’s artwork.
An expert who examined these documents came away with the impression that Kinkade must have been quite intoxicated when he put pen to paper because of the very poor quality of the script.
Amy Pinto-Walsh was not the only woman in Kinkade’s life. He was also legally married at the time, and he and his wife Nanette had an estate plan in place that had never been revised after their estrangement some two years before his passing.
The two women initially had different opinions about the validity of the holographic wills. It appeared as though a court battle was brewing.
However, a recent news story is circulating about this case. Kinkade’s wife and his girlfriend have reached an agreement, and the matter is closed. We do not know details about the settlement because they have been kept private by the parties involved.