Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, had thousands and maybe millions of fans, so one might think he was amazingly wealthy and his estate was in order. However, that wasn’t necessarily the case that we know of thus far. Mr. Cub’s estate has ended up in a Cook County Court where the game is in about the fourth inning. The plays so far have been:
- The warm-up: October 17, 2014 Ernie created a new will, cutting his entire family out but “not for lack of love or affection” and leaves everything to his caregiver.
- January 23, 2015 Mr. Cub dies; death certificate allegedly states “dementia” as a leading contributor.
- January 31, 2015, Caregiver allegedly treats herself to champagne and a spa day.
- February 2015 the family, particularly the 4th wife, learns about will and contests it. Caregiver says Banks died with very little assets so Judge orders accounting.
- March 31, 2015 Hon. James G. Riley rules will is valid. Family lawyer says ruling is “procedural.”
Once a will is ruled valid, it is very difficult to overturn the ruling. One way is by proving that the primary beneficiary or beneficiaries asserted “undue influence” over the testator. This is what the Banks’ family is going to attempt to prove. Reports allege that Banks was suffering from dementia, which means that his soundness of mind could have been lacking on October 17 at the time he executed his will. But that’s just it, the family must prove that he was lacking capacity to withstand the influence of the caregiver at the exact time during which he signed his will.
In the interim, the Cubs are planning a tribute at the refurbished Wrigley. So…Batter-Up!