No, the spouse is not. The beneficiary is named. There are laws that require the spouse to sign an acknowledgement that there is life insurance that she is not the beneficiary of.
No. The beneficiary is whoever is specifically named on the policy.
You can name anyone as beneficiary.
It is the responsibility of the person holding the life insurance policy to keep the beneficiary data updated as necessary. In the scenario in the question, the ex girlfriend was listed as the beneficiary ... and will be awarded the proceeds from the policy. Unfortunately, there is little the spouse can do to stop that. The beneficiary designation is binding and will hold up in a court of law.
In rare cases, a person will make a close friend or relative the beneficiary of their life insurance policy instead of their spouse.
Are you referring to a group policy offered through work or an individually owned life insurance policy? For individual life insurance policies, the owner of the policy has complete control and can name anyone they like as the beneficiary, and the owner does not need spousal permission to do this.
Yes, if the owner of the policy does not file a change of beneficiary the insurance will have to pay the proceeds to the person who is named on the policy.
who collects the life insurance in a marriage when one spouse dies and theres no beneficiary on file
The owner of the policy can change the beneficiary of the policy. If the original beneficiary has died before the insured, the owner of the policy can designate a new beneficiary at any time.
The policy would default to the Estate. which in most cases the spouse would be the executor of the estate. however, it would have to go through probate court first, so you always want to have a primary beneficiary a life insurance policy.
Your spouse can get a separate policy (usually cheaper) or you can contact your insurance company to get the right paperwork for adding your spouse. Adding your spouse as a beneficiary, your agent can help.