What Is a Beneficiary?

A beneficiary is the person or entity who will receive benefits from a life insurance policy, qualified retirement plan, annuity, trust, or will upon the death of an individual.

What Does it Mean When Someone Is the Beneficiary?

The beneficiary of a life insurance policy, qualified retirement plan, annuity, trust, or a will is the person or charity that receives the death benefit. A beneficiary can be one person or two or more people or charities.

Learn more about what to do if you inherit an IRA.

Who Gets Money if There Is No Beneficiary?

Generally, only spouses, registered domestic partners, or closest living heirs can inherit benefits without a designated beneficiary assigned.  Unmarried partners, friends, and charities cannot receive benefits if they’re not declared a beneficiary.  To avoid delays and conflicts after an individual’s death, it is best to make sure beneficiaries are clearly named on all life insurance policies, qualified retirement plans, annuities, trusts, or wills.


Wealthspire Advisors is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary company of NFP Corp.
This information should not be construed as a recommendation, offer to sell, or solicitation of an offer to buy a particular security or investment strategy. The commentary provided is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for accounting, legal, or tax advice. While the information is deemed reliable, Wealthspire Advisors cannot guarantee its accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose, and makes no warranties with regard to the results to be obtained from its use. ©2022 Wealthspire Advisors

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