Although you may not want to think about the passing of your parents, it’s important to prepare and have a plan. As they approach the end stage of their lives, concerns such as medical bills and funeral costs will arise. Having conversations prior to this time and ironing out all the details will relieve unnecessary tension that often adds to an already stressful situation.
Life insurance coverage is a crucial element in end-of-life planning. While it can be an uncomfortable discussion to have with an aging parent, it’s critical that they have a policy in place that will cover the costs of their final expenses.
Can I Buy Life Insurance for My Aging Parents?
While you can, in some cases, buy life insurance to cover your parents’ end-of-life costs, it is usually better for your parents to buy their own policies as the policy owners, and make you the beneficiary. If your parents need assistance in keeping the policy active and paid up, you can have an alert set up to notify you if the policy is in jeopardy of lapsing due to non-payment. Likewise, you can become the payer on the policy and help them submit their policy payments to ensure they’re made on time.
Your parent’s age and health, as well as their financial situation, will all factor into the type of policy best suited for their needs. In addition, to purchase policies from AAFMAA, your parents will need to qualify for Membership, either by being a Veteran, the spouse of a Veteran, or the surviving of a deceased Veteran, in states where AAFMAA does business.*
How to Help Your Aging Parents Buy Life Insurance
When you help your parents buy life insurance, you help protect yourself from a financial burden that could cause added stress during one of the toughest times of your life. Here are some initials steps to take before buying a life insurance policy:
Calculate the amount of coverage needed.
In addition to end-of-life costs such as medical bills and funeral services, which can cost upwards of $10,000, you must also account for any debt, legal expenses, and recurring payments—mortgage, car, etc.—that will be transferred to you or your surviving parent. Adding up all of these costs will paint a better picture of how much coverage they’ll need to buy.
Determine who will own and pay for the policy.
As mentioned previously, the insured—your parent—does not necessarily need to be the owner of the policy (the person responsible for paying the premiums) but it is usually best. In any case, if they are listed as the insured, their consent will be required to issue the policy, typically in the form of a signature on the insurance application. This means you’ll have to discuss the logistics with your parent prior to purchasing coverage, and part of that conversation should be how the premiums will be paid.
AAFMAA’s Life Insurance Policies for Parents
Life Insurance for Aging Parents
For aging parents who served in the military or were military spouses, a whole life insurance policy from AAFMAA is usually the best option. Many of our whole life policies do not require a medical exam, so your parent can qualify for coverage even with complicated medical conditions.
AAFMAA’s whole life policies for aging parents include:
Learn more about all AAFMAA Life Insurance products.
How Can I Start a Conversation About Life Insurance with My Aging Parents?
We understand that life insurance can be a difficult conversation to have with a parent, but it is critical that you do.
There are several good online resources available to help you start this conversation with your aging parent. The Conversation Project is an organization dedicated to ensuring every person’s wishes for end-of-life care are expressed and respected.
Take Care of Your Parents with AAFMAA Life Insurance.
Your parents supported you and cared for you throughout the critical stages of your life. Be there for them now when it really counts. If you have questions about the life insurance buying process or need help guiding your parents through this important decision, call 1-888-862-5932 to speak with an expert AAFMAA Membership Coordinator or contact us online today for more information.
*In the following states/territories, AAFMAA is only able to issue policies to current servicemembers, military retirees, and their spouses: DC, MS, UT, and WI.
This article was originally published June 29, 2020.