Wright Abshire, Attorneys, A Professional Corporation
Houston: 713-660-9595
The Woodlands: 936-273-2773
Fayette County: 979-278-4095

Judge issues ruling in Kinkade estate litigation

Last month, we included a post on our Houston blog about the probate litigation surrounding Thomas Kinkade's estate. The dispute centers around who should have control of the late painter's assets. His estranged wife and girlfriend are the primary contenders in the matter. Kinkade's girlfriend, who was living with him at the time of his death, has brought forth two notes, purportedly in the artist's hand, which give money and a residence to the girlfriend.

The two sides had their most recent day in court last week, where a judge ruled on whether the case should continue on in probate court where the proceedings would be open to the public. Kinkade's estranged wife had sought to persuade the court to refer the case to arbitration, which would have allowed the family to settle the matter privately. The girlfriend, however, opposed that request, arguing that the probate proceedings should go on in open court.

The judge determined that the case would remain in probate court. He stated that he could not grant the estranged wife's request because he did not have enough information at hand. The two sides will next appear in court approximately one month from now on August 13.

While probate cases are quite interesting, August will mark the fourth month since Kinkade's death. In some instances, probate litigation can go on for quite some time, reducing the deceased person's estate and the patience of the family members. Through proper planning, it is possible to avoid most aspects of probate.

This planning includes updating estate planning documents as circumstances warrant it and making sure to follow all legal formalities when executing those updates. Part of the Kinkade dispute has resulted from the two handwritten notes. If Kinkade did in fact write them, he failed to observe traditional legal formalities in their creation, which has spawned some doubt as to their authenticity.

Source: Associated Press, "Dispute over Thomas Kinkade's estate to remain public for now," July 2, 2012.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

We Believe in Client Satisfaction Here is what our clients say about our hands-on approach to elder law and estate planning.

  • Thank you for your caring expression of sympathy. But more importantly, I want you to know how much your warmth as human beings has been palpably present in all the social and business intercourse we have experienced with you. Your willingness to allow yourselves to be completely human as you ply your trade adds a dimension to your professional stature which is unparalleled by most of your profession. Please don't change. You stand head and shoulders above the crowd. - L.T
  • Everyone in the firm was extremely cordial, courteous and professional, which made our family feel at ease knowing that our needs would be expertly managed. - R.L.
  • Everyone I came in contact with were kind and helpful. They were so professional as well as personable. I loved them. - J.B.
  • Very helpful in a family time of need. Excellent staff and service. After dealing with the State I have no idea how anyone could take this journey without the law firm's services. - L.N.
  • The firm did all things especially well. I was always impressed by the competent manner in which everyone worked and was confident that it would be "mission accomplished..." – J.T.
  • No detail was overlooked. Everything went very well. We feel so fortunate that your firm is well informed, capable and willing to do so much for us. I can't thank you enough for everything! - N.C.
Learn More
Email Us for a Response

Have a question about elder law in Texas? We can help. Schedule A Consultation Now

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

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.


Privacy Policy

"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."

Contact Our Texas Elder Law Attorneys Today We have 3 locations to better serve you. Contact our office closest to you.

Bellaire Office
4949 Bissonnet Street
Bellaire, TX 77401

Phone: 713-660-9595
Fax: 713-660-8889
Bellaire Law Office Map

Bellaire Office

The Woodlands Office
3117 College Park Drive, Suite 240
The Woodlands, TX 77384

Phone: 936-273-2773
Fax: 713-660-8889
The Woodlands Law Office Map

The Woodlands Office

Carmine Office
1055 Deer Haven Road
Carmine, TX 78932

Phone: 979-278-4095
Fax: 713-660-8889
Carmine Law Office Map

Carmine Office
Back To Top