Monday, October 9, 2017
Amidst the rabble of speculation and rumor, time is clearing away the idle speculation that Hugh Hefner died penniless and without a solid estate plan. Apparently, the Playboy mogul has had an ironclad succession plan in place for over 25 years. In 1991, he transferred the Playboy mansion, his art collection, clubs, intellectual property, and the company into a trust. Hefner later began transferring Playboy shares purchased from other stakeholders into a smaller, separate trust. During his life, the trustees acted as a de facto board of directors for Playboy and sought fit to grant Hefner the lifetime title of Editor in Chief and a healthy $1 million-per-year stipend. While the fate of the Playboy brand is uncertain under Hefner’s son, Cooper, there remains a substantial empire to manage.
See Scott Martin, Hefner Timed Death to Launch Playboy Reboot for Modern Era, Wealth Advisor, October 1, 2017.
Special thanks to Mark J. Bade for bringing this article to my attention.