What is a 'Secondary Beneficiary'

A secondary beneficiary is a person or entity that inherits assets under a will, trust or insurance policy if the primary beneficiary dies before the grantor. A secondary beneficiary would also be considered a "contingent beneficiary".

BREAKING DOWN 'Secondary Beneficiary'

A contingent beneficiary is a beneficiary who inherits assets only if certain conditions are met. Many times, a secondary beneficiary inherits assets if the primary beneficiary dies, which is a condition to be met. However, not all contingent beneficiaries stand to inherit only if another beneficiary dies, as there may be more than one condition that must be met.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. Under what circumstances will a contingent beneficiary receive an insurance payout?

    Learn the different types of contingent beneficiaries and what conditions must be met for these beneficiaries to receive ... Read Answer >>
  2. What types of insurance policies have contingent beneficiaries?

    Learn what types of insurance policies use contingent beneficiaries and what conditions must be met for the contingent beneficiary ... Read Answer >>
  3. If both the primary and contingent beneficiaries are unavailable, what happens to ...

    Understand the difference between primary and contingent beneficiaries and what happens to assets when neither are present ... Read Answer >>
  4. How do I change my contingent beneficiary?

    Learn what life insurance companies and retirement plan accounts require from you to change your contingent beneficiary designations. Read Answer >>
  5. What are the restrictions for naming a given individual as my contingent beneficiary?

    Understand what restrictions may exist, depending on your state and the policy you choose, on naming your life insurance ... Read Answer >>
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