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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Buried Next To Marilyn Monroe, But That’s About All We Know

We live in a society that has become obsessed with celebrity. We’ve gone from a time where everyone was concerned with keeping up with the Joneses, to a period where it is impossible to avoid Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Is it any surprise then, that we also are interested in knowing what sort of estate planning our favorite celebs have done?

Although it indicates good planning on their part, it is a bit disappointing to find out there is no news about what a celeb’s last wishes were. One of the benefits of a good estate plan is that it keeps the tawdry details out of the public eye. Using trusts and other devices to avoid probate means there is little info that makes it into the public record. This is something even non-celebs with nosy neighbors can appreciate!

A good example of this sort of planning in action is Hugh Hefner’s estate. We only know a few details about his estate plans because he chose to make certain things public.

First, we know that he was buried next to Marilyn Monroe, his first cover girl, in the Corridor of Memories Mausoleum at the Westwood Village Memorial Park in L.A. We know this because Hef bragged about purchasing the plot for $75,000 back in 1992.

We also know what will happen to the iconic Playboy Mansion. The five-acre residence in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, was sold to businessman Darren Metropoulos for $100 million in 2016. The property was sold with a life estate reserved which allowed Hef to live at the mansion until his death. Metropoulos, who also owns the neighboring property, has said he would like to combine the two estates and restore the mansion to its 1920s glory.

The only thing that might put a stop to Metropoulos’s plans is the Los Angeles City Council. Councilmember Paul Koretz has introduced a motion to add the Playboy Mansion, built in 1927 by architect Arthur R. Kelly, to a list of historic-cultural landmarks. If the mansion gets this special status, the building will be protected from most exterior renovations and the city would need to approve any attempts to demolish it.

That’s all we know, and all we might ever know about Hefner’s estate plans. His lawyers did a great job protecting his privacy.


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