Hugh Hefner's Heirs Must Be Addiction-Free To Access Trust Funds

By Kelly Burch 12/26/17

Beneficiaries that are found to be addicted to drugs or alcohol could be cut off from the trust fund until they reach a year of sobriety.

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Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner’s beneficiaries—including his widow and his four children—will have to stay away from illegal drugs and be addiction-free in order to access money from his estate, because of a provision in his trust that requires anyone receiving money to be free from addiction. 

According to a provision of his trust, anyone receiving money must be free from substance addiction. Documents obtained by Entertainment Tonight read:

If the trustees reasonably believe that a beneficiary of any trust routinely or frequently uses or consumes any illegal substance so as to be physically or psychologically dependent upon that substance, or is clinically dependent upon the use or consumption of alcohol or any other legal drug or chemical substance that is not prescribed by a board certified medical doctor or psychiatrist in a current program of treatment supervised by such doctor or psychiatrist, and if the Trustees reasonably believe that as a result the beneficiary is unable to care for himself or herself, or is unable to manage his or her financial affairs, all mandatory distributions to the beneficiary, all the beneficiary’s withdrawal rights, and all of the beneficiary’s rights to participate in decisions concerning the removal and appointment of Trustees will be suspended.

Trustees can request that beneficiaries undergo drug testing. If someone were found to be addicted to drugs they could be cut off from the trust fund money, but those funds could be distributed again after the beneficiary was sober for a year, the trust states, or when the “Trustee in their discretion determine that the beneficiary is able to care for himself or herself.”

Hefner, who launched the iconic Playboy magazine and accompanying brand, passed away in September. He was 91. 

According to divorce papers from 2009, Hefner was worth an estimated $43 million. However, Fortune magazine estimates his worth was just $15 to $26 million by the time of his death. Crystal Hefner and his children Christie A. Hefner, David Hefner, Marston Hefner and Cooper Hefner are all beneficiaries of his trust. 

The trust seems to bar anyone else from being added to the beneficiary list, according to People, which reports a clause that excludes “any person who claims to be a child of mine, including any child of mine conceived after my death, unless such child lived with me in my household and was acknowledged by me in writing to be my child.”

Hefner was known for throwing lavish parties, but he reportedly had strict codes of conduct for his playmates and girlfriends, including not being too intoxicated. 

"You've got to show everything in a good light and if you're drunk in a picture you'll be in trouble,” Playmate Melissa Howe, told The Sun

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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