What Is A Contingent Beneficiary, A Revocable Beneficiary, And Irrevocable Beneficiary?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Generally, a policy has a beneficiary and a contingent beneficiary. The money would go to the beneficiary in the event of the death of the insured. But, if the first beneficiary had already died, the contingent beneficiary would receive the proceeds.

When, the beneficiary designation is revocable, the owner of the policy can change the beneficiary at any time.

When the beneficiary designation is irrevocable, the owner cannot change the beneficiary. Irrevocable beneficiary designations are sometimes used in business insurance, or other special insurance situations. The irrevocable designation is intended to assure that the policy proceeds go to the intended person for the designated purpose.

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