What is the Difference Between Primary and Contingent Beneficiaries?


Planning your will and estate distribution can be a challenging process. However, understanding the different terms at play here can influence your decisions about the most effective solutions – which is why we’re looking at the main differences between primary and contingent beneficiaries to help. Remember: you will need to define both of these in your will if you intend to leave your estate to more than one person. However, to ensure that your estate is distributed as you have planned, partnering with your local Calgary will lawyer could be highly valuable.


What is the Difference Between Primary and Contingent Beneficiaries?

Have you been planning to get professional support from a local will and estates lawyer? If so, it’s worthwhile to consider the different types of beneficiaries you will need to define in your will. The two most common of these are primary and contingent beneficiaries.

Primary and contingent beneficiaries are both recipients of your will. However, it is important to define who is the primary beneficiary (in other words, who’ll receive assets first) and who the contingent beneficiaries are.

Contingent beneficiaries, at their simplest, will receive your assets if the primary beneficiary is unable to receive them. For example, the primary beneficiary could reject the assets or die before accepting the assets themselves.

A common example of this is naming a child as the primary beneficiary of assets; then, if the child should be unable to accept the assets, the contingent beneficiary may be the grandchild or grandchildren.


Can Children be a Contingent or Primary Beneficiary?

If there is a child who you would like to make either a primary or a contingent beneficiary, it’s worth noting that they may not be able to accept the assets immediately. With this thought in mind, in such scenarios, the assets may pass to a trustee who can manage the assets instead until the child is old enough to manage the assets themselves.


Final Thoughts

If you’d like to learn more about contingent beneficiaries, who they are, and how they work, please don’t wait to check out our contingent beneficiary guide today. We’re immensely proud to deliver some of the most reliable, effective, and professional solutions for your own beneficiaries and estate; as such, we are here to ensure that you have the knowledge you need to find the perfect solutions for your own will and estate management needs. So why struggle with this decision alone?