Ernie Banks played for the Chicago Cubs for 19 seasons and is known as “Mr. Cub”. He was inducted in to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977. He died on January 23, 2015 and his estate is in turmoil. Three months before his death Banks executed a Will leaving all of his estate to his longtime caregiver and left nothing to his surviving spouse or children.
First, there was a battle between the caregiver and the spouse (with whom Bank’s was in the process of finalizing a divorce) over the disposition of the remains. Now, another legal battle has emerged.
The caregiver had initiated the Probate of the Will, which is being contested by Mrs. Banks, and maintains that there was only $16,000 in the estate at the time of his death. Although the Probate judge has ordered the caregiver produce an account, the most immediate problem is that the funeral home which handled the Legend’s services has not been paid and recently filed a claim against the estate for more than $35,000. On March 7, 2015 the Chicago Cubs announced they will pay for the funeral costs.
Undoubtedly, the legal battle over the estate will go on but this is an important reminder of how easily sudden changes to your estate plan can result in uncertainty, litigation and lots of fees. You have the right to make any changes to your estate plan that you desire; however, the assistance of experienced legal counsel can help prevent frivolous challenges.