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My dad want me to get a life insurance policy on him. I have no clue where to start or even what type of questions to ask. What are the positives and negatives of buying a policy. Is it a sound financial decision? If more information is needed about me or my dad please ask.

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Term life insurance makes sense if you will have a need for money if someone dies. If you (and your brothers) do not have enough money currently for a proper burial for your father, then you might consider term insurance to cover this. If you already have the money to cover this (or can save for it in a short amount of time), then you are better off financially to not purchase the insurance.

Estimate what you think it will cost for a burial, then determine if you have this money available to you. If you already do, then don't purchase the insurance.

If you do not have this money available to you, then you can look into a term life insurance policy on your father. You definitely do not want a whole life insurance policy. This will cost many more times what a term policy costs. A term policy is a policy with an expiration date.

For example, let's say that you determine that you will need $10,000 when your father dies for the funeral and burial. You could get a 10-year policy on your father for $10,000. Over the next 10 years, besides paying your premiums, save up $10,000 ($1,000 each year) in some type of savings/investing account. Hopefully, your father will still be around 10 years from now, and you won't need the insurance policy anymore, because you will have saved enough to cover the costs when the time comes. Doing this will almost always cost you less than getting a whole life policy, which never expires, but has much higher premiums.

There are also 20-year term policies, which will cost more, but will give you more time to save up your fund. The costs for these policies depend on your father's age, so get a quote for both and decide what will work for you.

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If you can not support yourself should your father die, an insurance policy may make sense as a safety net.

As an investment, it is a bad bet unless he knows something about his health that would somehow not cause his premiums to be increased tremendously yet not cause them to claim he was attempting to defraud them and refuse payment. In other words, it is a bad bet, period.

Insurance is a tool. If the tool doesn't do something you specifically need, it's the wrong tool.

  • He wants us (me and my brothers) to be able to pay for his prep and burial without paying for it out of pocket. He is a veteran so i believe he will be buried for free and I have no clue how much it cost to prep a body. – T. Thomas Nov 29 '14 at 0:27
  • You don't need insurance for that. It can be as expensive as you insist upon making it, but for my father I believe it set us back a few tho, going with the military cemetery and basic coffin (which is all we wanted) and nothing beyond that. If you're concerned, get a price estimate and then decide whether you need insurance, savings, or can just deal with it out of pocket and not worry about it. – keshlam Nov 29 '14 at 5:19

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