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Spendthrift Trusts Attorney

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As leading estate planning attorneys in St. Louis, we understand how to navigate the many complexities that come with securing your family’s financial future. Ready to get started? Contact our law office online to schedule an initial appointment.

Some people are great with money; others are not. A person’s ability to diligently handle and grow money, while admirable, isn’t everything — especially when it comes to family. However, having an immediate family member or loved one who has a concerning relationship with money can certainly complicate inheritance.

If you’re struggling with how to bequeath an inheritance to someone who has a troubling history with spending, addiction, gambling, or a similar issue, there’s an estate planning tool designed especially for you. It’s called a spendthrift trust, and it offers a wide range of benefits to people in your situation.

This article will explain the nature of spendthrift trusts, their pros and cons, and how an experienced spendthrift trust lawyer can help you establish a top-tier, comprehensive strategy to meet your unique estate planning needs.

Understanding Spendthrift Trusts

spendthrift trust is an estate planning tool that offers a valuable solution to people who want to leave an inheritance to a loved one who may not benefit from receiving a large sum of money all at once. Rather than giving them direct access to their inheritance or disinheriting them, a spendthrift trust allows a grantor to leave their beneficiary an inheritance that is distributed according to predetermined terms.

A spendthrift trust works by limiting a beneficiary’s access to assets. Rather than receiving their inheritance all at once, they receive funds incrementally — protecting beneficiaries from their own bad spending habits, as well as from creditors. This works because the assets contained within the spendthrift trust account are owned by the trust, not by the beneficiary of a spendthrift trust. 

Pros of a Spendthrift Trust

Like all types of trusts, a spendthrift trust offers numerous benefits. However, this estate planning tool isn’t right for every person or situation. The following are its most notable, potential advantages: 

Ultimately, spendthrift trusts can offer numerous advantages in certain situations. However, they also come with significant risks, which is why it’s important to consult a spendthrift trust lawyer before establishing one. 

Cons of a Spendthrift Trust

Although spendthrift trusts can be an invaluable estate planning tool, they can also present distinct drawbacks to their grantors and beneficiaries. Here are some of the potential cons associated with spendthrift trusts: 

As you can see, the pros and cons offered by a spendthrift trust depend on many factors, including the grantor’s individual circumstances and specific goals. 

Contact a Top-Tier St. Louis Estate Planning Law Firm

Everyone, regardless of wealth or financial standing, can benefit from estate planning. However, not all attorneys are equally qualified to design estate planning tools like spendthrift trusts. If you’re searching for a top-tier spendthrift trust lawyer in the St. Louis area, look no further than the Law Office of David S. Schleiffarth, LLC.

With years of experience and a dedication to providing quality legal services to each and every client, our law firm has what you need to ensure maximum asset protection and the achievement of your goals. Ready to get started? Schedule an appointment online today.

Essentials of a Spendthrift Trust

Every type of trust comes with its own key elements and their respective requirements. Spendthrift trusts are no different, and while the details vary, each one is characterized by the same set of essential characteristics. The following elements define a spendthrift trust:

  • Spendthrift clause. This clause is an essential feature of a spendthrift trust. It explicitly restricts the beneficiary’s ability to assign, sell, or pledge their interest in the trust’s assets, providing protection against creditors.
  • Trustee. Spendthrift trusts require the appointment of a trustee to hold the legal title to the trust’s assets and manage it according to its terms.
  • Irrevocability. As a type of irrevocable trust, a spendthrift trust can’t be revised or revoked without the beneficiary’s consent. This is an important feature for protecting the trust’s assets from both the grantor’s and beneficiary’s creditors.
  • Discretionary distributions. Spendthrift trusts often grant the trustees broad discretion over when and how much is distributed to the beneficiaries. This allows the trustee to assess the beneficiary’s needs and circumstances before making distributions.
  • Asset protection. Spendthrift trusts can be funded with a variety of assets, including money, real estate, stocks, and other types of property. Once put into the trust, these assets no longer belong to the grantor, adding an extra layer of asset protection.
  • Purpose and terms. The trust agreement must clearly state the trust’s purpose and include terms for asset distribution, criteria that beneficiaries must meet, and conditions that could terminate or change the trust.

Setting up an effective spendthrift trust often requires careful legal planning and expert drafting, as well as knowledge about specific jurisdictional laws and practices. That’s why it’s typically smart to draft it alongside an experienced spendthrift trust lawyer. 

How to Set Up a Spendthrift Trust

Creating a spendthrift trust is an involved process that requires several key steps. Before establishing your trust, you’ll need to complete several initial tasks, including the following: 

Establishing an effective trust requires expertise, diligence, and, often, legal acumen. An experienced estate planning lawyer is an invaluable resource in creating a trust that meets your specific goals and needs.

Our Process

Approachable Estate Planning. From start to finish, we are here to shoulder the load and make Estate Planning easy!


Make an appointment

Call, text, or email and we will find a time that works with your schedule.


Initial appointment

We discuss your life, family, financial situation, & Estate Planning goals. You do not need to bring anything.



You do nothing. Relax and we will prepare drafts of your documents in approximately 2 weeks.


Review & approval

You look over your documents. We answer questions and make any changes as needed.


Signing appointment

Once your documents have met your satisfaction, you will sign the final drafts at our office. (In front of 2 witnesses and a notary–provided by us, of course).

Contact Us Now

Call, text, or email to speak to an attorney!

Contact Information

Tel: 314-448-0527



75 W Lockwood Ave #1, Webster Groves, MO, 63119, US