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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 ?
Beneficial State's growth demonstrates the potential to broaden reach and capacity while remaining rooted in community, focused on environmental imperatives, civic responsibilities and the underserved,' added Kay Toran, previous Albina board member and new Beneficial State board member.
Some of the most common pests such as aphids, whiteflies and moths are fairly controllable by introducing beneficial insects such as lacewings, ladybugs and pirate bugs.
The preservatives used in treated lumber often make it unsuitable for beneficial reuse.
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.
Personal investment corporations that are incorporated primarily in offshore secrecy or tax haven jurisdictions and are easily formed and generally free of tax or government regulation are routinely used to maintain the confidentiality of the beneficial owner of accounts at private banks.
The move came as the company completed the rebranding and systems integration of SE Financial Corp, of which Cyr was president and chief executive, while Beneficial Mutual's executive vice president Denise Kassekert said she would part ways with the company on 15 June 2012.
Metalcasters interested in learning more about how they can reuse their sand will find a valuable tool in AFS' guide, "Turning Used Foundry Sand into a Marketable Resource: Best Management Practices for Beneficial Reuse.
Increasing beneficial insect numbers in your yard not only encourages healthy soil and pollination, but reduces the need for chemical pesticide applications.