A beneficiary is a person who is entitled to receive the assets, benefits, or proceeds of a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, or other contracts.

For example, a beneficiary is an individual designated on the bond who becomes the owner of the bond upon the death of the bond’s owner. Bonds bearing the name of a beneficiary are registered, for example, “John Smith Payable on Death (POD) to Jane Smith.” “Jane Smith” is the beneficiary.