Contingent Beneficiary Law and Legal Definition

A contingent beneficiary is a secondary beneficiary who may receive a gift if its primary beneficiary fails to meet all the requirements placed on its receipt, for example, survive the donor by thirty days. Typically, the primary beneficiary must be deceased or not meet specified qualifications in order for the contingent beneficiary to receive benefits. A contingent beneficiary is not required to be named in all instances where a primary beneficiary is named. The precise definition of a contingent beneficiary varies by contract and applicable laws.