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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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    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...
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    VIC Wills and estates of deceased beneficiary

    Is a trustee of a life interest estate required to inform the trustee of a deceased beneficiaries vested share of the estate after the trustee has sold the estate in question plus the where abouts of the deceased beneficiaries share as they refuse to divulge any of the information which they...
  3. V

    NSW secondary beneficiary requesting advance

    Hi, I am the executor and trustee of my fathers' will. As trustee, I am directed to "make such payments to my said son from time to time from the share or part solely for the maintenance, welfare and advancement in life of my said son in the sole discretion of my trustee and should my son die...
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    NSW Beneficiary of will

    I am a discharged bankrupt. My question is part of the debt was to my mum who became one of the creditors in my bankruptcy. While some of the money was paid back not all was . So when she passes away is the remaining debt written off or taken off what I will inherit.
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    NSW Executor / Estate Attorney Demanding Beneficiaries Sign Statutory Declarations in order to Receive their Distributions from Estate

    I am one of ten (10) beneficiaries of a Will in equal shares. The estate is all cash. I have been asked to sign a Statutory Declaration that includes provisions regarding a) not being an undischarged bankrupt, b) I have not pledged estate assets to secure a debt and also c) to indemnify the...
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    QLD Early inheritance

    My father in law passed away mid 2019 and is survived by 2 children, my wife and her brother, who lives interstate. My brother in law went through a divorce in 2007, and my FIL gave him $300K out of his inheritance for bills and to purchase his house. My FIL changed the will outlining that my...
  7. S

    QLD New Will defames main beneficiary of previous will

    My father made up a new Will during stage 4 cancer 4& a 1/2 months before he died. My inheritance went from 80% in previous Will down to 10%. My brother's went from 20% to 70%and the remaining 10%to new beneficiaries,relatives of the new executor.The new will incorrectly states my name...
  8. S

    NSW Beneficiary/Executor is threatening to seek a greater share of the will

    Hi Everyone, My mother and her sister (my aunt) were named 50/50 equal beneficiaries of a house left to them by their Uncle. My aunt is also the Executor of the will. My aunt has been very unforthcoming with information about the estate and has shared few details with my mum about when the...
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    WA Beneficiary rights and timeframe

    My father died 20 months ago, the executor has been granted probate which was received about six after death, all assets have disposed of except for some investment shares. The only thing I am not sure of is whether the final tax return has been lodged. I am one of two beneficiaries with a 50/50...
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    VIC Beneficiary Disclaiming Benefit Through an Affidavit?

    My aunt is executor of will of my late grandmother's deceased estate which is given to me as the main beneficiary. I don't want it and want to distribute it to other family members. Can I disclaim a benefit by making an affidavit with the condition to have it distribute to others?