Spendthrift Trusts

If you’re exploring options to make sure that your loved ones are well-taken care of, spendthrift trusts are an essential part of your estate plan. This trust is designed to protect the beneficiaries’ assets from their own possible mistakes and from their creditors.


Estate planning can be complicated. Our law firm is here to help you manage your Florida estate and plan for your future. Call Colby Roof today to discuss your options.

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Understanding Spendthrift Trusts

A Spendthrift Trust is a special kind of trust. It helps to protect the money in the trust from being misused. The person who gets the money or property (the beneficiary) from this trust can’t use the assets as collateral for loans or waste them all at once because there are restrictions put in place. This type of trust also makes it difficult for creditors to access the assets, adding an extra layer of protection.

Essentials of a Spendthrift Trust

A spendthrift trust includes these parties:

  • Grantor: The grantor makes rules on how the assets in the trust should be managed and used.
  • Trustee: the person managing the trust. The trustee is responsible for following these rules and managing the trust’s assets carefully.
  • Beneficiary: the person getting the benefits.

Oftentimes, a spendthrift trust is set up so the beneficiary can use the interest accrued from the assets in the trust, but not the trust principal money placed in the trust. However, there are various ways to set it up.

The other essential piece of this type of trust is that it is generally safe from creditors of the beneficiary. Oftentimes these trusts are set up in order to save money for a beneficiary when an ordinary gift of money might need to be used to pay debts.

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Pros of a Spendthrift Trust

Spendthrift trusts offer various benefits. They help in protecting the trust’s assets from the beneficiary’s bad decisions or creditor claims. Since the beneficiary doesn’t control the trust’s assets directly, it’s harder for others to misuse these assets. This kind of trust can be very helpful for beneficiaries who may not be good at managing money.

Cons of a Spendthrift Trust

While a spendthrift trust has its benefits, it has some downsides too. The beneficiary has limited control and access to the trust’s assets. This means they can’t use the trust assets for important needs without the trustee’s approval. Sometimes, this can make things difficult if the beneficiary has immediate or unexpected needs.

How to Set Up a Spendthrift Trust

Setting up a Spendthrift Trust involves a few steps. First, an experienced lawyer will help create the trust document with all the rules and details. Choosing a reliable trustee is also important because they will manage the trust’s assets. Once the trust document is ready and signed, assets can be transferred into the trust to be managed and protected.


When establishing a spendthrift trust for a minor, the grantor defines the terms and conditions under which the assets are managed and distributed. This involves designating a trustee who will be responsible for managing the trust assets, making decisions about investment, and ensuring the funds are used in the best interest of the minor. In the terms, the grantor can specify how the funds should be used, such as for educational expenses, healthcare, living expenses, or other necessities, ensuring that the minor beneficiary is well taken care of.


It’s essential to carefully choose a trustee who is responsible and reliable because they will have a significant influence over the minor’s financial wellbeing. The trust can be structured to allow distributions for specific purposes or at certain milestones in the minor’s life, ensuring that the funds last and are used beneficially as the minor matures.


Additionally, when setting up a spendthrift trust for a minor, it’s crucial to consider the potential changes in circumstances and needs of the child as they grow older. The terms of the trust should be flexible enough to allow for necessary adjustments, ensuring that the trust continues to serve the best interests of the beneficiary throughout their youth and into adulthood. An experienced estate planning attorney can be invaluable in structuring the trust to be both protective and adaptable to the beneficiary’s evolving needs and circumstances.


Another alternative is to set up an irrevocable trust with a spendthrift provision for a family member. These types of trusts generally have more asset protection from creditors than revocable trusts. To discuss which option is best for you, call our offices today.

FAQs for Spendthrift Trusts

What is a spendthrift trust?

A spendthrift trust is an estate planning tool to protect the assets in a trust from misuse, creditors, or poor management by the beneficiary.

How does a spendthrift trust work?

It works by putting rules on how the trust’s assets can be used and accessed, ensuring that the beneficiary cannot misuse the funds and creditors can’t easily reach them.

Do I need a spendthrift trust?

It can be helpful if you want to protect the trust’s assets from potential misuse or the beneficiary’s creditors.

Who should be the trustee of a spendthrift trust?

A responsible and trustworthy person or a professional trust company that can manage the trust’s assets according to the rules set by the grantor.

Who sets up a spendthrift trust?

The person who wants to create the trust, usually with the help of an estate planning lawyer, sets it up.

What are the requirements of a spendthrift trust?

A legal document outlining all the rules of the trust, a trustee, and assets to fund the trust are required.

Who controls a spendthrift trust?

The trustee controls the trust, managing the assets based on the rules set in the trust document.

Contact a Spendthrift Trusts Attorney in Florida

A spendthrift trust is an important element in estate planning for protecting assets from various risks. It ensures that the wealth is managed and utilized in a way that aligns with the grantor’s wishes. An estate planning lawyer can help integrate a Spendthrift Trust into a broader estate plan, ensuring a comprehensive approach to managing and protecting your assets.


Call Colby Roof today to discuss your estate planning needs.



The contents of this article are not comprehensive, they provide only a general overview of the subject matter discussed. This article does not establish a client-attorney relationship with the reader, and no legal decisions should be made based on the article’s contents. Because every legal matter arises under unique facts specific to the client, no legal decision should be made without consulting a licensed attorney.

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