Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Dennis Hof was discovered unresponsive at the age of 72 on October 16 by his friend Ron Jeremy, at the Love Ranch South, a legal brothel Hof owned in Crystal, Nevada. Despite his death, the cause of which remains unknown, he is expected by many to win his election for state assembly in November as his name remains on the ballot. According to the State of Nevada’s Constitution, the 36th District of Nevada will appoint another Republican to serve in Hof’s place should he posthumously win the election.
Questions as to who would inherit his businesses are being asked because it is unclear if Hof had a will. There has been a report that he had a trust, and friend Heidi Fleiss claims that there is indeed a last will existing somewhere. Though Hof dealt in unconventional businesses, there is still a lesson to be learned from the brothel owner's death. Ownership interest in a business is an asset like any other, and sole proprietorships must be transferred by probate or the laws of intestacy.
As is often the case with estates, litigation may ensue. It is already reported that Hof’s two estranged daughters from his first wife have surfaced inquiring as to the succession plan for their father’s empire. Suzette Cole, who worked as a madame with Hof at his brothels, may manage the brothels as her name appears on many of the brothel licenses. Interestingly, her name does not appear on the license for Love Ranch South where died.
See Cori A. Robinson, Elections, Brothels, Family: Dennis Hof and Lessons in Estate and Succession Planning, Above the Law, October 23, 2018.