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Ernie Banks Signed New Will Days After Dementia Finding, Wife Claims

(STMW) -- The caretaker of Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks took him to sign a will days after an evaluation found he exhibited signs of "moderate to severe" dementia, his estranged wife alleges in court filings.

The documents he signed in October 2014 turned over all of his assets to his caretaker, Regina Rice, and cut off his children and wife from any inheritance, Liz Banks alleged in documents filed Friday in Cook County, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The fight over Banks' estate started just days after his death Jan. 23 at age 83. Lawyers for Liz Banks have suggested that Ernie Banks was forced or tricked into disinheriting his relatives.

Judge James Riley confirmed in March the authenticity of a will that left everything to Rice, but also ordered Rice to turn over previously undisclosed financial records in May.

Liz Banks' new petition claims Rice sought to "isolate and control" Banks in the final days of his life. Rice's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ernie Banks fell while he was alone Oct. 8 at his Trump Tower condominium, according to Liz Banks' petition. He was eventually taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and discharged Oct. 11. The evaluation that found the presence of dementia took place Oct. 14, records show.

Three days later, Rice allegedly drove Ernie Banks to the offices of attorney Byron Faermark, where Ernie Banks executed the new will, according to his wife.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2015. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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