Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
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.
Beneficiary (trust)"Cestui que use" redirects here. See also, Cestui que.
In trust law, a beneficiary or cestui que use, a.k.a. cestui que trust, is the person or persons who are entitled to the benefit of any trust arrangement. A beneficiary will normally be a natural person, but it is perfectly possible to have a company as the beneficiary of a trust, and this often happens in sophisticated commercial transaction structures. With the exception of charitable trusts, and some specific anomalous non-charitable purpose trusts, all trusts are required to have ascertainable beneficiaries.
Generally speaking, there are no strictures as to who may be a beneficiary of a trust; a beneficiary can be a minor, or under a mental disability (in fact many trusts are created specifically for persons with those legal disadvantages). It is also possible to have trusts for unborn children, although the trusts must vest within the applicable perpetuity period.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Beneficiary \Ben`e*fi"ci*a*ry\, a. [Cf. F. b['e]n['e]ficiaire, LL. beneficiarius.]
Holding some office or valuable possession, in subordination to another; holding under a feudal or other superior; having a dependent and secondary possession.
A feudatory or beneficiary king of England.
Bestowed as a gratuity; as, beneficiary gifts.
Beneficiary \Ben`e*fi"ci*a*ry\, n.; pl. Beneficiaries.
A feudatory or vassal; hence, one who holds a benefice and uses its proceeds.
One who receives anything as a gift; one who receives a benefit or advantage; esp. one who receives help or income from an educational fund or a trust estate.
The rich men will be offering sacrifice to their Deity whose beneficiaries they are.
a. 1 Holding some office or valuable possession, in subordination to another; holding under a feudal or other superior; having a dependent and secondary possession. 2 Bestowed as a gratuity. n. One who benefits or receives an advantage.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
1610s (n.), 1620s (adj.), probably via French bénéficiaire, from Latin beneficiarius "enjoying a favor, privileged," from beneficium (see benefice).
Usage examples of "beneficiary".
Nothing prevents a beneficiary from rejecting his right to an inheritance.
I have little doubt that there will be plenty of them hunting down our mystery beneficiary once his name is revealed.
Jack noted, which meant that the sixth beneficiary was still a no-show.
Rudsky, does the fact that you are not assigned to the Sally Fenning murder have anything to do with the fact that you are a named beneficiary under her will?
But it would be up to that beneficiary to come forward and prove that he is in fact the person described in the will.
Starbuck as her beneficiary under a will disposing of a considerable estate?
Having eliminated Starbuck from your mind or your sentiments as the logical beneficiary under this utterly insane will, you cast about for another candidate.
Cunningham changed his beneficiary just one month ago, switching from his wife to you.
Such a bad one that he decided to change his beneficiary, looked around for somebody else, saw you, and that was that.
She goes on to say that she intended to change her insurance again, making Grace the beneficiary, and that she would so inform Lattimore in order to remove any financial motive for her murder.
And while she may have intended to make Grace her beneficiary, her unfulfilled intent has no legal weight.
So her estate becomes the beneficiary of the insurance policy, and she never did get around to changing her will, so that means the money will wind up in my hands.
Kirsten McCourt the beneficiary of any leased safe-deposit box in this bank, whether this branch or any other?
McCourt is in fact the beneficiary of the contents of a box in this bank, in this building.
The beneficiary of the policies was designated by the trust as the surviving heirs.