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  • Before purchasing a life insurance policy, consider your financial situation and the standard of living you want to maintain for your dependents or survivors. You might want to ask yourself who will be responsible for any outstanding medical bills and funeral costs. What would happen if your family had to relocate or otherwise change their standard of living once you've died? The assumption of immediate death is necessary to determine the current life insurance needs for a family or individual.
  • Add in the longer term financial needs of the remaining family members, such as: children's expenses, income for the surviving spouse, mortgage and other debt payoffs, college education funds and an additional emergency fund.

Because life insurance needs change over time, your life insurance amount should be reevaluated periodically. Insurance experts recommend revisiting the coverage of your policy once every five years or whenever you experience a major life event such as a change in income or assets, marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, or a major purchase such as a house or business.