Baseball Legend’s Contentious Divorce Becomes a Contentious Estate Battle

08/06/2015

Ernie Banks, known as "Mr. Cub" had been diagnosed with dementia just days before he signed a will leaving his small estate to a caregiver, charges his estranged wife. Seems like she isn't done with him yet.

In a case for resolving marital disputes sooner rather than later, the battle between Ernie Banks and his fourth wife, Elizabeth Banks, has now extended into an estate battle. The couple's long and contentious divorce was still on-going when he passed away at age 83 this past January. Elizabeth Banks is disputing a March court ruling that validated Banks' will, which left all of his estate to a caregiver, Regina Rice.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Elizabeth Banks argued in the filing that Ernie's health was in a rapid state of decline since the preceding October when he was injured in a fall. Rice, a longtime friend to Ernie Banks, took him in to live with her at her home in Plainfield, Illinois while he was recovering.

Elizabeth Banks alleged in those March proceedings that Regina Rice coerced the ailing baseball legend and "Mr. Cub" into making changes to his will to give Regina all of the assets. However, two paralegals testified in the case that Ernie had the capacity and was of sound mind during the notarization of the will changes. The witnesses also said Ernie also said to them that he didn't plan to leave money to his family.

Regina Rice has told the media that Ernie's estate was worth a little more than $16,000 when he passed away.

For more on this story see a recent Sporting News article titled "Estranged wife claims Ernie Banks had dementia when he signed will."

Make sure that your estate plan is legal and solid, so that there are no conflicts over your assets. Contact a qualified estate planning attorney to discuss your situation.

Reference: Sporting News (July 27, 2015) "Estranged wife claims Ernie Banks had dementia when he signed will"