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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 ?
A state court allowed the trust to distribute most of the $700,000 principal to the remainder interest holders and purchase annuities for the income beneficiaries (avoiding large yearly trustee fees).
Conversely, if it had filed a proper notice of lending, the bank would have eliminated any taint of self-dealing in repaying its own loan and the beneficiaries would have been properly appraised of the fact that, (1) the trust assets were being depleted in order to repay the recorded loan documents, and (2) the bank was a trustee acting as both transferor and transferee of those funds.
358, would be too expensive for individual beneficiaries, resulting in insurers having to charge exorbitant fees.
While the percent of beneficiaries who reported any problems with their access to care was small, black and Hispanic beneficiaries were more likely than white beneficiaries to experience these problems.
Under the proposal, the government would pay 88 percent of combined premium costs (Part A and Part B), and beneficiaries would be responsible for 12 percent plus any allowable co-payments and deductibles.
It therefore makes sense for SSI recipients and SSDI beneficiaries to refrain from or restrict employment to maintain publicly funded medical benefits.
A November 1997 study for NASL focused on the flow of patients through rehab, while a July 1998 study we did for NovaCare examined utilization patterns and investigated the number of beneficiaries who would exceed the cap.
Many of these beneficiaries will have higher out-of-pocket medical costs if they have to buy supplementary insurance, and they may not have coverage of prescription drugs.
House of Representatives, the General Accounting Office (GAO) reported little success is being achieved in rehabilitating disabled beneficiaries (GAO, 1987).
If the trust is a qualifying trust, can separate accounts be set up fur each of the beneficiaries and their own lives used to calculate the required distributions, rather than the spouse's life?
As in Situation 1, when a trust's grantor, treated as the trust's owner, pays the income tax attributable to the inclusion of the trust's income in the grantor's taxable income, the grantor is not deemed to make a gift of the amount of the tax to the trust's beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries of the trust must be identifiable from the trust instrument.