CHICAGO (AP) — The funeral home that handled services for Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks has jumped into the legal battle over the estate of the Hall of Famer with a claim for more than $35,000 it says it has not been paid.
The claim by Donnellan Family Funeral Services was filed Wednesday. It comes amid a legal challenge by Banks' widow, Elizabeth Banks, of a will Banks signed in October — without her knowledge, she contends — that leaves all his assets to longtime caregiver Regina Rice and nothing to her or Banks' children.
Last month, after Rice's attorney said a preliminary estimate showed Banks had assets worth just $16,000, a probate judge gave Rice 30 days to provide a full accounting of the estate.
That legal battle involves even the remains of the beloved "Mr. Cub," with Elizabeth Banks filing a petition to prevent Rice from having Banks' remains cremated. The challenge delayed Banks' burial at a cemetery not far from Wrigley Field until a week after his funeral.
In its claim, Donnellan asks to be paid $3,995 for legal fees it incurred "due to dispute over disposition of remains of deceased."
Banks once famously said that he wanted to have his ashes scattered at the iconic ballpark where he spent his entire 19-year-career. While Rice has not directly commented on the dispute over his remains, she has said Banks "made me promise to adhere to his wishes and I am determined to do just that."
The court file includes a bill dated Feb. 6 — the day Banks was buried — that the funeral home sent to Elizabeth Banks. Among other expenses, the funeral home said the casket cost nearly $11,000, flowers cost $6,755, car services amounted to more than $3,000 and there were some $2,700 in staff fees.