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Term used to refer to the person who receives the benefits of a trust or the recipient of the proceeds of a life insurance policy.


1. In insurance, the person or (more rarely) organization that receives money from the insurance company when the insured event occurs. For example, in life insurance, when the insured person dies, a beneficiary may be his/her spouse This means that the spouse receives the agreed-upon amount of money from the insurance company.

2. In annuities, the annuitant. The annuitant is the person who receives the agreed-upon amount of money from the annuity starting at the agreed-upon time. Depending on the type of annuity, the annuitant may be the person who paid into the annuity, or may be a relative or other designee of that person, such as a widow or widower.


A beneficiary is the person or organization who receives assets that are held in your name in a retirement plan, or are paid on your behalf by an insurance company, after your death.

If you have established a trust, the beneficiary you name receives the assets of the trust.

A life insurance policy pays your beneficiary the face value of your policy minus any loans you haven't repaid when you die. An annuity contract pays the beneficiary the accumulated assets as dictated by the terms of the contract.

A retirement plan, such as an IRA or 401(k), pays your beneficiary the value of the accumulated assets or requires the beneficiary to withdraw assets either as a lump sum or over a period of time, depending on the plan. Some retirement plans require that you name your spouse as beneficiary or obtain written permission to name someone else.

You may name any person or institution -- or several people and institutions -- as beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of a trust, a retirement plan, annuity contract, or life insurance policy. A contingent beneficiary is one who inherits the assets if the primary beneficiary has died or chooses not to accept them.


A person who receives the benefits from something although perhaps not the legal owner of the thing.In real estate,the term is usually encountered in the context of a trust,in which a trustee holds what is called bare legal title to the property,but the property itself and all sums gained from the property are held for the beneficiary.Care should be taken when buying,selling,or leasing property that involves a beneficiary,and,if at all possible,one should gain the beneficiary's signature even though it is not technically required.Otherwise,you could find yourself in the middle of litigation between the trustee and the beneficiary if the beneficiary claims the actions taken were illegal and not authorized.

References in periodicals archive ?
1 December 2010 4 Statement of changes in beneficial ownership
Except as may be required by applicable law or regulation, Beneficial assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
By monitoring for damage and differentiating the beneficial insects from the harmful pests, growers can tailor IPM to employ "only those controls that are needed, when they are needed.
The preservatives used in treated lumber often make it unsuitable for beneficial reuse.
Rincon-Vitova Insectaries in Ventura offers seed blends for attracting beneficial bugs through its Web site at www.
Strengthening this direction in the home promotes unity, harmony, and a spirit of cooperation, and is generally beneficial in all environments where group projects are important.
That group developed Preempt, which seeds the guts of young animals with beneficial bacteria to exclude later infection with food-poisoning germs (SN: 3/28/98, p.
The form requires full details on the foreign person receiving the income, who also must be the income's beneficial owner.
With this merger, we can continue our focus on the Philadelphia Market and build on our 158 year heritage in community banking while providing even greater strength, size and stability for our customers, employees, shareholders and the communities we serve," said Gerry Cuddy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Beneficial.
EPA's guide, "The State Toolkit for Developing Beneficial Reuse Programs for Foundry Sand," provides state environmental agencies with an overview of current beneficial reuse practices, case studies on successful program designs and a guide to sampling and testing requirements.
Equity Residential Properties Trust (NYSE: EQR), named by Fortune as one of America's most admired companies, announced that its Board of Trustees declared first quarter 2001 dividends for the Trust's common and preferred shares of beneficial interest.
Increasing beneficial insect numbers in your yard not only encourages healthy soil and pollination, but reduces the need for chemical pesticide applications.