How estate planning could affect Hugh Hefner’s widow

As most people in Delaware probably already know, Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner recently died at the age of 91. What many people may not have known is that Hefner was married in 2012. According to press releases, Hefner’s estate planning provides for his widow, but does not provide her with an inheritance from his estate. Considering the state of many celebrity estates that have been in the news, sources can only guess at how he accomplished this at this point.

One source believes that Hefner may have set up a trust for his widow that provides her with income, but limits her access to any principal in some way. This may be through what it called a Qualified Terminable Interest Property trust. This type of trust could provide her with income, but will not involve her in the administration of the trust. Upon her death, anything remaining in the trust may go to Hefner’s children.

Other possibilities that may be less likely are an irrevocable life insurance trust, which would also provide her with a steady income. In the alternative, he may have set up an annuity for her. It could be some time, or not at all, before anyone knows the specific details, but what is known is that his children appear to be inheriting the bulk of his estate.

It should be noted that another part of Hefner’s estate plan involved the execution of a prenuptial agreement that more than likely outlined what would happen upon his death. The point is that estate planning provided Hefner with a way to provide for his third wife while ensuring that his children inherit his estate. Delaware residents in a similar situation (albeit probably not with this amount of money at stake) can do the same for their spouses and children from prior relationships.

Source:, “How will Hugh Hefner’s estate ‘look after’ his widow’s finances?“, Greg Iacurci, Sept. 29, 2017



FindLaw Network