Thomas Kinkade estate battle gets a court hearing

Thomas Kinkade, with his painting "Prayer for Peace," in 2006. He died in April at age 54.
(Gene Blythe / Associated Press)

The legal battle over the estate of Thomas Kinkade received a hearing earlier this week in a court in San Jose, with the artist’s estranged wife squaring off against Kinkade’s girlfriend, who was living with him at the time of his death in April. The hearing was held to decide whether the estate fight will be held in open court or in private arbitration.

Amy Pinto-Walsh, the artist’s girlfriend, has submitted to the court a handwritten document that she says shows Kinkade bequeathed her his mansion and $10 million to establish a Thomas Kinkade Museum, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The newspaper reported that the documentation was “barely legible.”

The newspaper reported that Pinto-Walsh asked for legal authority to oversee $66.3 million from Kinkade’s estate.

Pinto-Walsh “wants to redeem her reputation,” her lawyer, Douglas Dal Cielo, told the Mercury News after the hearing.


Kinkade died in April at the age of 54. Officials determined that he died from an alcohol and Valium overdose.

His estranged wife, Nanette, has opposed Pinto-Walsh’s efforts, even seeking a restraining order to prevent her from talking about the artist in public.

The Associated Press reported that a July 2 hearing has been set to determine the legal weight of Pinto-Walsh’s documents.


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