Contingent Beneficiary

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DEFINITION of 'Contingent Beneficiary'

1. A beneficiary specified by an insurance contract holder who will receive the benefits if the primary beneficiary has died at the time the benefit is to be paid.

2. A beneficiary who is only entitled to insurance proceeds if predetermined conditions have been met at the time of the insured's death (as can be found in a will).

BREAKING DOWN 'Contingent Beneficiary'

Contingent and primary beneficiaries can be changed if the policy is a revocable one, such as with many individual policies. In the business world, most policies are irrevocable, as they are only meant to insure the person(s) originally specified as beneficiaries.

Virtually any conditions may be in place for a contingent beneficiary of a will as this depends entirely on the person drafting the will.

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