Hugh Hefner Sets Example With ‘Addiction-Free’ Trust
For many, the late Hugh Hefner exemplified excess and a life of indulgences. But he actually became a staunch recovery advocate throughout his later years, publicly speaking out against the dangers of addiction. And, interestingly enough, he demonstrated that stance even more after his passing; with particular stipulations in his will that forbid his heirs from abusing drugs and alcohol.
Details of the Playboy founder’s trust were recently made public and they are drawing some big headlines from the recovery community. We, for one, think it is an innovative and effective stance; particularly for parents of wealth. Too often, children who come into large sums of money tend to take their lifestyle to the extreme. Partying could easily be a coping mechanism, which, more likely than not, can lead to using dangerous substances.
Entertainment Tonight broke this particular story, printing excerpts from Hefner’s lengthy trust papers.
“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,” it read.
Translated into more manageable terms, it singles each of Hefner’s four children and allows for any one of them to be cut out of their inheritance if they fail drug tests initiated by the estate’s executors. And that can mean a major financial loss, as Hefner’s fortune was reported to be around $26 million.
Many parents are unaware that stipulations like these can be included in their will documentation. For those who fear enablement after their passing, it may be a good idea to consult an attorney to ensure that heirs do not use any funds to further bad habits. Choosing a trusted executor is also very important, as they can represent an unbiased party and ensure that all final wishes are carried out properly.