When we’re not writing, we are juggling our law practice, our three amazing kids, speaking events, and our media appearances. In fact, the documents expressly stated that no provisions were being made for Bank's estranged wife (against whom he had filed for divorce) and also cut out his three adult children from a prior marriage. In 2013, President Obama awarded Banks the National Congressional Medal of Honor. In court documents obtained by The Associated Press, there is no mention that Banks wanted his ashes scattered at the ballpark where he played his entire 19-year Hall of Fame career. We are a husband-and-wife team, combining our backgrounds as estate planning and probate litigation attorneys to write about celebrity estates, wills, and trusts, along with other celebrity legal cases. Banks' wife is challenging a will signed by him that gives all his assets to his longtime caretaker, Regina Rice. This means that Rice would stand to inherit not only whatever assets and wealth Ernie Banks accumulated during his life (figures haven't been revealed yet), but the right to control (and profit from) his name, likeness, and image, as well. But it was unclear where exactly the body was taken. Banks' wife, Liz, was originally awarded control of his estate after she said a will didn't exist, but Rice filed a petition days later with proof of an existing will. CHICAGO -- Ernie Banks, the beloved Cubs great who once said he wanted to have his ashes scattered at Wrigley Field, is at the center of a battle over his remains, as his estranged wife … In fact, the State of Illinois recently passed a new law aimed at making it easier for families to challenge wills that favor caregivers. The warring factions have already been to court once to fight over Mr. Cub's wishes.

After his playing career, Banks has been widely respected as a positive role model in baseball and beyond. This means that the burden of proof will likely lie with Rice during the case. Cubs legend Ernie Banks died at 83. The attorney for Ernie Banks' wife says the late Chicago Cubs great's longtime caretaker hasn't turned over all pertinent financial information about his estate. He played golf regularly with his twin sons, Joey and Jerry, and tasted the creations of his daughter Jan, a local chef. The 77-year-old Banks and his wife have adopted a baby girl. View Ernie Banks's Page at the Baseball Hall of Fame (plaque, photos, videos). as the probate estate of the late “Mr.

The fight over controlling his image and inheriting his assets will be much more complex and drawn out than the battle to bury the baseball legend.

Even though the couple was estranged and living apart, in the midst of divorce proceedings, Banks' wife still was considered to be his next of kin, thereby giving her the right to control his burial arrangements. Only three months before he died, Banks signed a new set of estate planning documents, including a power of attorney, healthcare directive, new will, and a trust. Rice did not answer her phone, and her attorney did not return calls for comment. It said that Rice understood why the children would be concerned, but "the record and those closest to Ernie will dispel any iota of concern regarding my relationship with Ernie and his trust in me to [carry] out his wishes.". Just beyond campus, the black community was confined to homes in the 15th Ward. Widely beloved in Chicago and the baseball world, Ernie Banks -- a/k/a Mr. Cub -- rose from humble beginnings. More bio, uniform, draft, salary info Ernie Banks died on January 23rd at age 83 from a heart condition. According to court records, Elizabeth Banks filed a petition to prevent a woman who describes herself in the documents as a longtime friend of Ernie Banks, his caretaker and the executor of his estate from having him cremated.

Why is that important? While the outcome of this case is very much in doubt at this point, one thing is clear. Banks' ex-wife, supported by his children, went to court to stop the cremation and successfully won the right to have Banks buried, not cremated. But over the years, families of devoted fans have slipped into the ballpark to scatter the ashes of loved ones who spent their lives rooting for the Cubs and Banks, who on at least one occasion years ago, famously told a local newspaper reporter that after he died he wanted "my ashes spread out over Wrigley Field -- with the wind blowing out.". Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. The facts that Ernie Banks had dementia and completed the changes to his estate only three months before he died make the dispute even murkier. Company dealer ever and being actively involved in charity work throughout his life after baseball. You may opt-out by.

Nowhere does Banks discuss what he wants done with his remains. The attorney for Elizabeth Banks at one point argues against the validity of the will, saying only that it was "allegedly signed" by Ernie Banks. Rice released a statement of her own refuting the allegations. The Cubs declined to comment on the dispute. "It's unfortunate.". He continued to break new ground, becoming the first black However, a person who answered the phone at Graceland but declined to give her name said Banks is not buried there. Relatives: Uncle of Bob Johnson. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. The documents include a petition for divorce, signed by Ernie Banks, in which the Hall of Famer seeks to end his marriage because "irreconcilable differences have caused irretrievable breakdown of the marriage" and that Elizabeth Banks had "committed extreme and repeated acts of mental cruelty upon petitioner (Ernie Banks).". All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. In other words, she will have to prove that she did not commit undue influence, rather than the children having to prove she did do so. The shortstop and first baseman played his entire 19-season career with the Cubs from 1953 to 1971. Banks' children have vowed to go to court to keep that from happening. Check out our celebrity legal documentary series, Fortune Fights, on the REELZ channel. As an initial matter, people are allowed to leave their assets to whomever they want -- caregivers and other non-family members included -- but only if they are of sound mind and free from what the law calls "undue influence." Banks, and his wife Liz, spent his later years in Southern California. Ford Motor A document titled "Last Will and Testament" and signed by Ernie Banks on Oct. 17 of last year says he was "in the process of finalizing divorce" from his wife and that he had appointed Rice as the executor of his will. How significant was his dementia in October of last year when he signed the documents? Fame shortstop, and universally-loved Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks has adopted a baby that is one week old. " The new documents left his caregiver and talent agent, Regina Rice, in control of everything.

Indeed, because Rice was in a position of trust over Banks -- as his caregiver and agent both -- the law will actually assume on a preliminary basis that she did exercise undue influence. "Petitioner (Elizabeth Banks) is without recourse and shall suffer irreparable damage should Regina's desires to cremate the remains of the decedent be granted," she wrote. A judge authorized the wife of late Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks to file new causes of action against the woman alleged to have been Banks' caregiver at the end of his life. He planned for the future and lived comfortably; during the 1960s, Cubs owner P.K. One can only wonder if the timing of his changed estate planning documents was done with this new law in mind. Yet, this is far from uncommon -- and not just for families of the rich and famous. Dispute erupts over remains of Cubs' Banks, One great 2020 moment for all 30 MLB teams, FA Bauer rejects Reds' offer, but open to return, Bruce Maxwell to attend spring training with Mets, Longtime Brewers coach moves to advisory role, Dodgers' Betts awarded 5th straight Gold Glove, Angels want to toss lawsuit of fired employee, Betts, deGrom among finalists for MLB awards, Jeff Passan's MLB offseason preview: Answering 20 uniquely 2020 hot stove questions, Dodgers' Cody Bellinger on World Series win and his appearance in the new Assassin's Creed, The top plays from MLB's free-agent class, My 5-year-old couldn't go to a Mets game this year -- so I sent him to all of them, Way-too-early 2021 MLB Power Rankings: What's next for Dodgers, Rays and all 30 teams, 2021 MLB draft order set by 2020 standings, Which World Series is the best ever?

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