Contingent Beneficiary

The person designated to receive the life insurance death benefit if the primary beneficiary dies before the life insured. The contingent beneficiary is the secondary beneficiary.

A contingent beneficiary can be named in a Will.

Suppose you (as the policyowner) name your spouse as your beneficiary but you both die at the same time (e.g., car accident). The death benefit on your life would go to your spouse's estate and be subject to claims by creditors.

You may wish to name your children as the contingent beneficiaries.

  • if they are minors, you could name a trustee acting on their behalf instead

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