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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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    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?
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    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...
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    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...
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    NSW Trustee vs beneficiary

    Trustee vs beneficiary I have a property dispute with partner on rural property. On OP request we engaged a Private trustee, property auctioned off 18 June, 90 days settlement. Suddenly, a week ago the trustee is insisting that my family vacates, 4 weeks before 16 September settlement date...
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    QLD Family Wills , Can a beneficiary be an executor

    Can the beneficiary of a will be an executor to that will
  7. M

    QLD Name change of beneficiary

    My late father has included me and my sister in his will prior to his passing. In 2012, I had changed my surname back to my mothers maiden name. At the time of the will being made in 2019, my father was unaware of the change, and so i’m in the will under my previous surname. I am also listed as...
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    QLD Beneficiary & executor behaving badly

    What action can other beneficiaries take when the executor & another beneficiary remove items and bank balances from deceased estate and refuse to give an accounting of all assets. The beneficiary informed other beneficiaries that they were the executor @ both refused to supply copy of the will...
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    NSW Concerns with Executor and estate

    My father in law passed away in July last year and named his eldest son as executor of the estate. His son then informed the beneficiaries (his 4 brothers) that he was going to delay probate, access bank accounts not inform govt depts, etc of the death. We sought legal advice and he was stopped...
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    VIC Extinguishing an un-used easement

    Hi All - My question is: Can a 'CarriageWay Easement' be extinguished if the beneficiary is no longer using or 'passing over' the land to access their un-landlocked property? The Dominant has blocked his access with landscaping trampoline and a pool shed effectively prohibiting a vehicle from...