Few products are as misunderstood as life insurance. Fundamentally life insurance can be used in an "offensive" context and a "defensive" context.
The traditional use of life insurance is defensive. A very basic example would include using life insurance death benefits to pay off a mortgage or other debts if an insured dies. Additionally death benefits can be used to replace income or fund college tuition.
The amount of capital necessary is equal to the sum of the debts plus the amount required to pay for college (if needed) plus the present value of the income stream needed to maintain the family's lifestyle. The amount of insurance necessary is the capital required from the example above, less liquid assets available to meet those objectives.
In an offensive context life insurance can be used effectively to pay estate taxes, fund business buy sell agreements, and protect a business from the loss of a key person. Additionally, when properly structured, it can be used to fund deferred compensation and supplemental retirement benefits for executives.
Lastly, who should own the policy? The answer depends on a lot of factors including your priorities. Often policies are owned by the insured, a trust, a business or a business partner.
Complex planning is usually easier with a guide. We are happy to help you figure out the right amount, duration, and ownership of your life insurance.