There’s a legal dispute over the remains of Ernie Banks

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Hall of Famer Ernie Banks passed away last month at the age of 83. Sadly, there is now a legal dispute over his remains.

According to the Associated Press, Banks’ estranged wife, Elizabeth Banks, has gone to court to prevent a “long-time friend” of the Cubs great,¬†Regina Rice, from having his remains cremated.

The dispute involving most famous player in Cubs history, was confirmed Friday by Howard Golden, an attorney representing the estranged wife, Elizabeth Banks.

“Suddenly, it came up,” he said. “It’s unfortunate.”

According to court records, Elizabeth Banks filed a petition to prevent a woman who describes herself in the documents as a longtime friend of Ernie Banks, his caretaker and the executor of Banks’ estate from having him cremated. The woman, Regina Rice, asserted her rights to dispose of Banks’ remains after his death last month at the age of 83, according to documents filed by Elizabeth Banks’ attorneys on Feb. 2.

“Petitioner (Elizabeth Banks) is without recourse and shall suffer irreparable damage should Regina’s desires to cremate the remains of the decedent be granted,” she wrote.

Elizabeth Banks has successfully thus far prevented the body from being cremated, Golden said.

Banks once told a newspaper reporter that he wanted his ashes “spread out over Wrigley Field – with the wind blowing out.” However, court documents show that there is no mention of that wish. According to Golden, Banks is buried at Graceland Cemetery, which is blocks away from Wrigley Field. But there is also some conflicting information about that.

The dispute over Banks’ remains is part of a larger battle over his estate. Banks signed a “Last Will and Testament” dated last October 17 where he appointed Rice as the executor of his will while saying that he was “in the process of finalizing divorce” from Elizabeth Banks, his fourth wife. Meanwhile, the attorney for Elizabeth Banks says that it was only “allegedly signed” by Ernie Banks. This has all the makings of an ugly, protracted battle, which is just plain sad.