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. What does U.S. law say about contingent beneficiaries?

    Learn about regulations the United States has on the naming of contingent beneficiaries, the types of contingencies that ... Read Answer >>
  2. 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 >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. 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 >>
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