There is no single answer to your question because the facts may be different in different cases. First, the insured should change the beneficiary designation if a named beneficiary dies before the insured's death. That will avoid problems later.
A beneficiary designation may include additional instructions when two or more beneficiaries are named. First, the insured can name "contingent" beneficiaries who will take a deceased beneficiaries share- on any life insurance policy. Second, the beneficiaries may be named as beneficiaries "per stirpes" or as "joint with the right of survivorship" where if one dies their share passes to the Survivor.
You need to check the designations on the particular insurance policy, the policies of the particular insurance company and the laws in your jurisdiction.
Any natural beneficiary of the deceased has standing to contest the will. Beneficiaries of a previous will may also have standing to contest it. You will need to talk to an attorney in your state to work on the process.
When the policy holder dies, the money goes to the beneficiary. If the beneficiary then dies, THEIR beneficiary then gets the money.
== == It's all a function of who's listed as the beneficiary. If someone doesn't agree and brings a lawsuit about it - The Insurance Company will probably just ask the court to decide - It would be wise to plan ahead and set up trusts, change beneficiaries, whatever so that the insured's desires are met.
There is no requirement to do so. The executor does not even have to be notified that they were appointed.
He was the oldest surviving son when his father, the previous monarch, died, and therefore the crown passed to him.
Some life insurance policies have an "irrevocable" clause, meaning, once you designate a beneficiary, that's the only beneficiary that can be designated. Stated otherwise, the owner of the policy cannot him/herself change the beneficiary without the consent of the beneficiary (hence, the use of the term "irrevocable"). If that consent can be obtained, the insurer will have forms that must be completed with a great degree of formality, in order to effect the change. The insurer will be concerned that all formalities are observed so that when the insured dies, it is not faced with conflicting claims to the proceeds.
They have no rights in that particular policy. The proceeds will be paid over to you bypassing probate.
Of course, you can contest the will. From your question, it appears you are doing so, now. You stand scant chance of prevailing in court against a properly executed will, though.
There is no reason to inform anyone. It isn't any of their business who is named in the will.
Wise pioneers often included spare wagon wheels and axles, thanks to the surviving wagon-masters' previous experiences of the dangerous journeys west.
No, that would not be permissable. There are few places that allow common law spouses, so check that carefully.
No. Congress recently announced there will be no cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security beneficiaries in 2011. The previous lack of adjustment in 2010 means the government will continue paying benefits at 2009 rates.