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
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    Learn about regulations the United States has on the naming of contingent beneficiaries, the types of contingencies that ... Read Answer >>
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    Learn what types of insurance policies use contingent beneficiaries and what conditions must be met for the contingent beneficiary ... Read Answer >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. What are the pros/cons of naming a trust as the beneficiary of a retirement account?

    This has been the topic of an ongoing debate in the financial community between estate planning attorneys and financial advisors. ... Read Answer >>
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