Martha Hubbard took out a life insurance policy with Aetna Life Insurance and Annuity Company. A signed request was required to change the policy’s beneficiary. Martha provided a signed request to Aetna, changing the beneficiary of the policy to her son, Robert Hubbard, and naming Benjamin Caswell as contingent beneficiary. Robert predeceased Martha, leaving Caswell as the only remaining beneficiary of the policy. Martha later executed a will, which devised the proceeds of the life insurance policy to various people and charities. Martha’s will was filed in probate proceedings after her death. Both Caswell (plaintiff) and the executors of Martha’s estate (defendants) claimed the proceeds of the insurance policy.