Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks had just $16,000 in assets when he died last month, a lawyer for his caregiver said in court Tuesday.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a "bitter" dispute over Banks' will centers around Regina Rice, Banks' live-in caregiver and agent. Banks' family (his estranged wife, Liz Banks, and his sons) have alleged that Rice persuaded him to sign a new will that gave her his complete assets.
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, who they believe took advantage of Banks by coercing him into signing the will.
Banks' attorney, Tom Jefson, said the family would "just like to know what happened" to Banks' wealth and is not making allegations of fraud or embezzlement. Rice's attorney, Linda Chatman, said the $16,000 figure was only preliminary and the greatest value in Banks' estate was his image and likeness rights.
Banks, who earned the "Mr. Cub" moniker after spending his entire 19-year career (2,528 games, all without a postseason appearance) with the Cubs was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977. He was the first African-American player in franchise history.
- Mike Fiammetta