In order to get the death benefit, the beneficiary would need to contact the life insurance company and make a claim for the policy death benefits upon the death of the insured person.
Also, if the beneficiary was responsible for the intentional death of the insured, the beneficiary would not receive any money from the life insurance.
If the cause of death was excluded by the policy, there would be no death benefit paid out on the life insurance. For example, death resulting from suicide within two years of buying the life insurance policy is excluded. However, the exclusion may be one year, in some states like Colorado.
In addition, if the life insurance coverage expired before the insured died, there would be no death benefit paid out.
If the life insurance company experienced financial problems and ceased doing business, or was taken over by the Department of Insurance due to financial problems, it may be some time before the beneficiary received all or part of the death benefit from the life insurance company.
And, if the insured had changed the beneficiaries of the life insurance policy before dying, removing a previous beneficiary (you) from the life insurance policy, then you would not get any funds from the policy.
Learn more about being the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.