Yes, the insurance company can change the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, but only with the written consent of the owner of the insurance policy. The owner of the policy may be different than the person insured, but no changes can be made to the beneficiary without the owner's express consent. Neither the insurance company or the government can authorize a change in your insurance policy, however the court does have the power to rule changes to a policy as void if significant proof of a lapse of judgment can be demonstrated in a challenge to the policy when the claim is filed.
In order to change the beneficiary on a life insurance policy, a Change of Beneficiary form must be completed by the policy owner. This form will contain all of the necessary information, and will be filed with the policy. A copy of the changed policy will be sent to the policy owner, but the insurance company keeps the original form on file to prevent later disputes over which one of multiple changes is the one in effect.
The policy owner can change the beneficiary at any time they choose. Additionally, more than one beneficiary can be named in the policy, and the payout can be divided in any way the policy owner sees fit. For example, an ex-husband may be removed as the beneficiary and children added in his place with equal shares divided between the children and an extra equal share allotted to the child who will maintain the deceased property and estate. This allows the policy to benefit all offspring, and includes a share of the policy expressly for the upkeep of the family property.