Kincaid heirs turn to lawsuits over trust issues

Joan and Jane Kincaid, with attorney Paul Sullivan, completed a settlement in 1993 regarding the estate of their father, Garvice Kincaid, and the sisters replaced the advisory committee of their father's trust. Jane Kincaid, right, died in 2010. Her sons now want changes to the current board.
Joan and Jane Kincaid, with attorney Paul Sullivan, completed a settlement in 1993 regarding the estate of their father, Garvice Kincaid, and the sisters replaced the advisory committee of their father's trust. Jane Kincaid, right, died in 2010. Her sons now want changes to the current board. Herald-Leader

The two grandsons and four great-grandchildren of the late Lexington financier Garvice Kincaid want to terminate or reform an advisory committee that oversees a trust fund created under Kincaid's will and trust agreement.

Brothers Brett Kincaid, 48, and Kevin Kincaid, 44; Kevin Kincaid's adult daughter Cierra Kincaid; and Kevin Kincaid, on behalf of his minor children Brooke, Bryce and Chance, filed a lawsuit May 3 in Fayette Circuit Court, seeking to have the committee dissolved or changed.

The grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all beneficiaries of the trust fund, say the three-member advisory committee has outlived its purpose and abused its authority. The lawsuit says that, under the terms of Garvice Kincaid's will and trust agreement, only one person now on the committee is legally eligible to serve on it.

Attorney Barry Hunter, lead counsel for the Kincaid trust advisory committee, said he wasn't in a position to comment on ongoing litigation.

Kevin Kincaid declined comment through his attorney.

Garvice Kincaid, a lawyer who was born in Lee County and grew up in Madison County, was reported to have amassed a half-billion dollar empire before he died of a heart attack on Nov. 21, 1975, at age 63.

When Kincaid died, his vast financial holdings included Kentucky Central Life Insurance Co., Central Bank & Trust Co., Blue Grass Broadcasting Co., which owned WKYT-TV and WVLK radio in Lexington and other stations, and about 200 related or affiliated companies. Kincaid's widow, Nelle Wilson Kincaid, died in 1984 at age 68.

The Kincaid holdings had remained largely intact for about 18 years after Garvice Kincaid's death. Then, in 1993, the Kentucky Department of Insurance took over Kentucky Central Life Insurance, Kincaid's flagship, because of massive losses on real estate investments. The company was later declared insolvent by Franklin Circuit Court. Kentucky Central's assets were ordered to be sold, and Kincaid's empire began to unravel.

Garvice Kincaid's estate lost a lot of value when Kentucky Central Life Insurance collapsed, said Philip E. Wilson, one of the lawyers who filed the suit.

In 2008, the Kincaid estate was valued at $220,585,279, according to the suit.

Garvice Kincaid's twin daughters, Jane and Joan, were successful in 1993 in ousting members of the trust advisory committee, William Burnett Jr., Edwin Schaeffer Jr. and Charles Hembree, all members of the life insurance company's board and other boards in the Kincaid empire, including the Central Bank board, and all formerly key advisers to Garvice Kincaid.

"I've watched for 17 years as they destroyed all that my father built," Jane Kincaid said in 1993. "I've been living a nightmare. Now I want to put this all behind us and move on."

The Kincaid daughters and Michael D. Foley, a Lexington accountant and adviser to the two women, replaced those who were ousted from the advisory committee.

But legal fights involving the Kincaid estate and trust, including battles among members of the Kincaid family, continued.

A portion of Jane Kincaid's will, which is mentioned in the latest suit, shows evidence of a family feud. Jane Kincaid, who died in July 2010 at age 68, bequeathed $1 each to her sons Brett and Kevin, with that money to be distributed on Christmas Day following the date of her death. She also directed her executor to deny her sons and their lineal descendants and representatives access to her residence and tangible personal property.

"I intentionally make no other provisions for my sons or their issue, for reasons that are well known to them," Jane Kincaid said in her will.

Central Bank & Trust Co. is the executor of Garvice Kincaid's estate and trustee under the trust agreement.

The Kincaid trust was initially divided into three funds, A and B, which were considered marital assets, and C, which contained non-marital assets.

Jane and Joan Kincaid became the sole beneficiaries of funds A and B when Nelle Kincaid died. The assets in funds A and B were distributed to the daughters after Nelle Kincaid's estate was settled in July 2009, according to the lawsuit.

Only Fund C, whose current beneficiaries include Garvice Kincaid's grandsons and great-grandchildren, remains in the trust. Joan Kincaid is also eligible to receive distributions from Fund C, as are future lineal descendants of Garvice Kincaid.

Fund C was at the center of battles between the trust advisory committee dominated by the Kincaid daughters and Brett and Kevin Kincaid. The fights concerned distributions from Fund C to beneficiaries, advisory committee fees and a reallocation of assets in funds A, B and C.

In 2005, before Nelle Kincaid's estate was settled and while Jane and Joan Kincaid dominated the advisory committee, the advisory committee and the daughters individually sought to have the funds' assets reallocated, with assets being taken from Fund C and placed in funds A and B, of which the daughters were the sole beneficiaries, according to the suit. Kevin and Brett Kincaid, who maintained they had previously been denied distributions from Fund C, opposed the proposed reallocation plan of the advisory committee and their mother and aunt individually.

A reallocation settlement was reached and approved by a court in 2008. In 2008, the value of funds A and B grew from $25,497,074 to $138,735,279, while the value of Fund C shrunk from $195,088,205 to $81,850,000, according to the suit.

Under the settlement agreement, Jane and Joan Kincaid, both beneficiaries of Fund C, said they had no intentions of seeking distributions from Fund C, and if they did, Fayette Circuit Court would have to approve any such distributions, the suit says.

Jane Kincaid, after her death, was replaced on the advisory committee by lawyer Barton T. Rogers, who had represented the advisory committee on the reallocation proposal. Lisa Grant, an employee of Central Bank & Trust Co., replaced Joan Kincaid, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in December.

The latest suit lists Central Bank & Trust Co., Joan Kincaid, Michael Foley, Barton Rogers and Lisa Grant as defendants.

The grandsons and great-grandchildren of Garvice Kincaid maintain in the suit that only Foley is legally qualified to serve on the advisory committee.

The grandsons and great-grandchildren say in their suit that Rogers, who didn't replace Jane Kincaid on the advisory committee until late 2011, is not qualified to serve on the committee because he does not have a certain type of relationship with a Kincaid-related corporation, as required under Garvice Kincaid's will and trust.

They also maintain that Lisa Grant's appointment to the committee should be null and void because she was appointed when the advisory committee, which cannot take action with less than two voting members, had only one duly appointed and qualified member.

The suit, a petition for declaration of rights and consequential relief, does not seek any damages. There do not appear to be any hearings scheduled.

"I think (Garvice Kincaid) would be disappointed in the way things turned out in a lot of ways," Wilson said.