Ernie Banks had just $16K when he died, caretaker

(CHICAGO) Ernie Banks had assets of just $16,000 when he died last month, according to a lawyer for the caregiver at the center of the bitter dispute over the Cubs’ legend’s will, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

But Banks’ widow “just wants to know what happened” to “Mr. Cub’s” wealth, her lawyer said.

During a brief but heated court appearance Tuesday morning, Cook County Probate Court Judge James G. Riley tried to cool tempers by ordering Banks’ live-in caretaker and agent, Regina Rice, to provide more detailed documentation about Banks’ assets within 30 days.

The ugly fight over the beloved Cubs icon’s estate was triggered when, just three months before he died, the ailing Banks signed a will that left all of his assets to Rice — a will his family learned of only after he died.

Rice says she was Banks’ trusted confidante and that he wanted her to have everything. But Banks’ estranged wife Liz Banks and his sons say they are “suspicious” of Rice and her motives.

In court Tuesday, Liz Banks’ attorney Tom Jefson said that he was concerned that Rice’s attorney, Linda Chatman estimated Banks’ estate was worth just $16,000.

“There’s no allegation of fraud or embezzlement,” Jefson said, “We’d just like to know what happened.”

Chatman said that the $16,000 figure was just a preliminary estimate, but that the real value in Banks’ estate was in the rights to his likeness.

Rice, who wore her trademark large framed glasses in court, and carried a Louis Vuitton handbag, declined to comment after the hearing.

She earlier this month angered Banks’ family by posting on Facebook a photograph of a bottle of champagne she enjoyed at a spa just eight days after Banks was buried.


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