Previous news reports had stated that Ernie Banks' estate consisted of only $16,000, and there's a legal battle going on regarding the estate and even over whether he'll be buried somewhere or cremated (he had apparently expressed wishes to be cremated, but it was unclear whether he had put that in writing). The Tribune reports, via the Associated Press, that the Cubs are helping out Ernie's family with funeral expenses:
The Chicago Cubs will pay for services for Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks after the funeral home that handled the arrangements 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. Julian Green, a spokesman for the Cubs, said Friday night that "We are paying the tab" for the funeral. "We learned of the story through the news media, saw that the funeral home had filed a claim," Green said. "We weren’t aware that the bill had not been handled. After that, we immediately called the funeral home and told them we would take care of it on Monday."
The Cubs did a very nice thing here for Mr. Cub and his family.
It is still unclear where Banks is buried. There have been unconfirmed reports that his body was laid to rest at Graceland Cemetery, which is less than a mile north of Wrigley Field. No grave marker for Banks is there and no one at the cemetery will comment.
I hope all this gets resolved to the satisfaction of everyone involved soon. Ernie's memory deserves nothing less.