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How a Disinherited Widow Can Still Live a Comfortable Life

Charles S. Liberis Oct. 23, 2017

Widows of publishing magnates mostly enjoy a comfortable life during both the life and following the death of their spouse. Marrying someone who has built a print and digital empire over several decades has its benefits in the form of a significant inheritance.

Unless you are Hugh Hefner's widow.

The Playboy Magazine founder died at the age of 91, Crystal Harris, his wife sixty years his junior will not receive a dime from his multi-million dollar estate. The couple signed what is described as an “ironclad prenuptial agreement” before their marriage in 2012.

Instead, Hefner has divided his largesse equally among his four children, ranging in age from 26 to 64, along with a film school and various charitable organizations. The estate's value is more than $40 million in addition to the $100 million proceeds from the recent sale of the famed Playboy mansion.

Yet, there is no need to weep for Harris. Even though she was effectively disinherited, she will not be left destitute.

Part of the prenup provides Harris with a $5 million in cash and a home of equal value purchased by Hefner and transferred to a trust controlled by his wife. Other reports claim that Hefner's trusts may add some padding to the already comfortable life for the widow Hefner. In addition to the $10 million, she could still enjoy additional income from other trusts.

Again, without “inheriting” anything.

Hefner's family is also without the internal tension that comes with a young bride marrying a rich father. Various accounts reveal that Hef's children have overcome the initial inherent hesitancy to gratitude for Harris serving as a caregiver for her husband in the latter stages of his life.