SAN JOSE (CBS / AP) – Hearings in the dispute between Thomas Kinkade’s widow and girlfriend over the late artist’s $66 million estate will not be conducted behind closed doors.

A judge ruled on Monday that the case will remain open to the public in probate court and not be decided through private arbitration.

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Kinkade’s widow, Nanette Kinkade, had sought to keep the matter private.

At the center of the dispute are handwritten notes Thomas Kinkade’s girlfriend, Amy Pinto-Walsh, said bequeath her his mansion in Monte Sereno and $10 million to establish a museum of his paintings.

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Nanette Kinkade disputes those claims and is seeking full control of the estate. She and Kinkade were legally separated when Kinkade died in April of an accidental alcohol and Valium overdose.

The case was continued until Aug. 13.

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