The Chicago Cubs are going to pay for the funeral of legendary infielder Ernie Banks after the company that handled the services filed a claim that it hadn't been paid amid a legal battle over the Hall of Famer's estate.
A report from the Associated Press (via the Chicago Tribune) states the $35,000 cost will be covered by the Cubs after they found out about the situation through the media. Team spokesman Julian Green said it will be handled early next week.
"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."
Last month, Kim Janssen of the Chicago Sun-Times reported there was a court appearance became heated after it was revealed Banks' estate had just $16,000 in assets.
The ugly fight over the beloved Cubs icon's estate was triggered when, just three months before he died, the ailing Banks signed a will that left all of his assets to Rice—a will his family learned of only after he died.
Banks' widow, Elizabeth Banks, wants to know where the rest of his wealth went. The judge ordered Regina Rice, who worked as Mr. Cub's live-in caregiver, to provide more financial details within 30 days.
It's an unfortunate situation. Banks' attorney, Tom Jefson, said they aren't making any claims of fraud or otherwise accusing anybody of a crime. "We'd just like to know what happened," he's quoted as stating in the Chicago Sun-Times report.
The Cubs made the right move by stepping in to take at least one burden away from the family at what's clearly a very difficult time.