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In the law,’contingent’ means possible but not certain, or conditional on some future event.

The term is used mainly to qualify other legal terms. Some common examples of this are contingent liability (=liability conditional on the occurrence of a future event), contingent beneficiary (=a person who may be eligible to receive insurance benefits if the primary beneficiary dies or becomes ineligible to receive the benefits) and contingent claim (a claim which has not been made, but could be made in the future if a certain event takes place.