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A beneficiary (also, in trust law, cestui que use) in the broadest sense is a natural person or other legal entity who receives money or other benefits from a benefactor. For example, the beneficiary of a life insurance policy is the person who receives the payment of the amount of insurance after the death of the insured.
Most beneficiaries may be designed to designate where the assets will go when the owner(s) dies. However, if the primary beneficiary or beneficiaries are not alive or do not qualify under the restrictions, the assets will probably pass to the contingent beneficiaries. Other restrictions such as being married or more creative ones can be used by a benefactor to attempt to control the behavior of the beneficiaries. Some situations such as retirement accounts do not allow any restrictions beyond death of the primary beneficiaries, but trusts allow any restrictions that are not illegal or for an illegal purpose.
The concept of a "beneficiary" will also frequently figure in contracts other than insurance policies. A third-party beneficiary of a contract is a person whom the parties intend to benefit from its provisions but who is not a party to the contract. A software distributor, for example, may seek provisions protecting its customers from infringement claims. A software licensor may include in its agreements provisions that protect those who provided code to that licensor.
In the context of development aid, the term "beneficiaries" refer to the persons and the communities that use the project outputs: the entities that development-aid projects.

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    QLD Public Trustee mishandling of estate after death.

    My wife is the sole beneficiary of an estate handled by the Public Trustee Qld. The death happened on 24 December 2020 and the Public Trustee has been painfully slow in their handling of the estate. There is only a compensation payment she received before her death, as apart from that she had...
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    QLD My rrights as a beneficiary

    My brother is the executive I am a beneficiary and power of attorney I've been staying in my deceased father's house 2 nites a week and was doing so before my fathers passing but have now been told by his wife that I am no longer allowed to do this I offered to pay the power bill but she has...
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    VIC The lawyer who prepared my parents Will is a sibling, Is this a conflict of interest as they are also a beneficiary of the Will?

    The lawyer who prepared my parents Will & POS is my sibling. Is this a conflict of interest as they are also a beneficiary of the Will? My sibling & I do not get along and I have concerns on what could happen after my parents have passed away that the situation will get messy. I am to be...
  4. J

    Executor is the sole beneficiary - conflict of interest?

    How can there not be a conflict of interest if the executor is also the sole beneficiary? Do the two roles just merge, or is the person supposed to act differently depending on the circumstances. For example, what happens during mediation?
  5. No Answer For Me Yet

    QLD Documentation a beneficiary needs to defend against contest

    I wonder if anybody has knowledge as to what sort of information a court would look at from a beneficiary to defend against a contest. The person who is contesting has done "some research" and has second hand information that alleges our circumstances are the same and thereby assumes the court...
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    Hi, my brother and I inherited our father's house and I am buying it from my brother. The solicitor says we have to put it in joint names first then do another transfer into my name only. Is this correct or can it go into my name if my brother submits a letter approving this? We are in NSW. Thanks
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    Should a friend (non-relative) of a testator who is a significant beneficiary under the will, accept appointment as Executor and Trustee of the will?
  8. H

    QLD Administrator not acknowledging me as a beneficiary

    Good morning, my defacto partner of 9 years, fiance for 7 of those, passed away over 6 months ago. His ex wife and her father have refused to acknowledge our relationship, lied to the funeral director, left me out of funeral arrangements, went against my partner's burial wishes. My...
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    NSW Legal avenues to settle a personal property dispute between beneficiaries

    I am trying to find out what legal avenues may be available to a beneficiary to claim items of personal property that are in dispute. Our parents gave away many of their personal possessions that would hold some sentimental value before they died and they did not keep a record of the gifts. They...
  10. W

    TAS Siblings are co-executors. Private sale of house which i am equal beneficiary.

    My late mother left her estate to be divided equally between my 3 siblings and I-two of which are co-executors. The house was sold in a private sale at a very low price. I have received little to no info on how or why this happened. It is clear the executors have not acted in the best interests...