Hugh Hefner’s estate plan sought to keep heirs clean and sober

by | Dec 28, 2017 | Estate Planning |

For New Yorkers who are drafting estate planning documents, their decisions on how best to distribute their assets to beneficiaries will hinge on multiple factors. Those who have significant assets and have certain desires for their loved ones and how they will live can place criteria in the estate plan. When creating trusts, it is possible to put requirements for the beneficiaries in the document. This is evident in the trust created by the late Playboy founder, Hugh Hefner.

In his estate plan, Mr. Hefner sought to make sure his beneficiaries did not succumb to the temptations of alcohol and drugs. In the document, his widow and four adult children cannot receive their distributions from the trust if they are found to be addicted to drugs or alcohol. The trustee has the right to require testing for the beneficiaries to see if they are using these substances.

However, even if they are found to be using illegal substances, they are not permanently banned from receiving their disbursements. Distributions will be suspended, and, if the beneficiary can show that they have been clean for 12 months, the disbursements will resume. It is also possible for beneficiaries to seek treatment for their issues and the treatment will be paid for by the trust. Mr. Hefner’s two sons will become the trustees after they turn 30. In the document, Hefner stated that he was aware of the potential conflict of interest if his sons are the trustees, but he still determined that he wanted them to function in the role when they reach the stipulated age. He made certain that his spouse or former spouse was not to be a trustee.

Not everyone has the assets that Mr. Hefner had or is concerned about the potential that their loved ones and other beneficiaries might be susceptible to temptations. But, if there are individual worries or desires that a person wants in the trust, it is possible to have the requirements detailed in the estate plan. A legal professional who is experienced in helping clients achieve their goals with trusts can help with this type of estate planning.

Source:, “Hugh Hefner’s Trust Details Revealed: No Drugs or Alcohol Abuse Allowed!,” Samantha Schnurr, Dec. 21, 2017