Advanced English Dialogue for Business – Clifford trust

Listen to a Business English Dialogue About Clifford trust

Ronald: Elizabeth, have you ever heard of a Clifford trust?

Elizabeth: No, what is it?

Ronald: A Clifford trust is an irrevocable trust named after a court case that established its legality, allowing the grantor to transfer assets to beneficiaries while retaining some control over the trust’s investments and distributions.

Elizabeth: How does a Clifford trust differ from other types of trusts?

Ronald: Unlike some trusts that provide significant asset protection, Clifford trusts are primarily used for income tax planning purposes, as they allow the grantor to transfer assets to beneficiaries at lower tax rates.

Elizabeth: Can you give me an example of how a Clifford trust might be used?

Ronald: Sure, a person might set up a Clifford trust to transfer income-producing assets, such as stocks or real estate, to their children or grandchildren, enabling them to receive income from the assets while potentially reducing the grantor’s tax liability.

Elizabeth: Are there any limitations or restrictions on Clifford trusts?

Ronald: Yes, Clifford trusts have strict rules regarding the retention of control by the grantor, and any attempt to exert too much influence over the trust’s assets or distributions could result in adverse tax consequences.

Elizabeth: How do beneficiaries of a Clifford trust access the assets?

Ronald: Beneficiaries typically receive income distributions from the trust, which can be used for their benefit, such as education expenses or living expenses, as specified in the trust agreement.

Elizabeth: Are there any tax implications for beneficiaries of a Clifford trust?

Ronald: Yes, beneficiaries must report any income received from the trust on their tax returns and may be subject to income tax on the distributions, depending on the nature of the income and their individual tax situation.

Elizabeth: Thanks for explaining, Ronald. Clifford trusts seem like a useful tool for income tax planning and transferring wealth to future generations.