The Best Burial Life Insurance Policies for Seniors


Burial life insurance provides money for heirs to pay for your final expenses. As a senior, you should seriously consider how your funeral and burial costs will be paid for. Sure, you can use some of your savings, but you will pay for your burial on a dollar-for-dollar basis. With life insurance, you pay a small premium in relation to the death benefit you receive, so you use only a fraction of your savings to pay for your funeral and burial.

Single-Pay Life Insurance

A single-pay life insurance policy is a policy requiring only one premium payment. The premium payment funds all future death benefit coverage for the policy. The policy's death benefit pays when you die. This policy requires a large lump sum payment, so you need to be willing to commit a large portion of your savings up front, instead of over time. The benefit of this policy is that it is often issued on a simplified issue basis. This means that the policy does not require a health exam and only limited health questions.

Guaranteed Life Insurance

Guaranteed life insurance is insurance that you cannot be turned down for except in circumstances when you have a terminal illness. The insurance company accepts your application with limited health questions. You do not need a health exam. The policy is paid for over a number of years. Instead of receiving the full value of the death benefit, you receive a death benefit equal to the premiums you pay plus an interest factor set by the insurance company. After the first few years of the policy, the death benefit equals the contractual benefit of the policy. If you die before the policy's current death benefit equals the amount you purchased under the contract, then you only get the death benefit earned at your death.


Both types of death benefits are considered "permanent," since the policy matures at age 100 or 120, depending on the policy type. Both death benefits are income tax-free at your death. The policies also build cash value, which represents a savings element of the policy. The cash value of the guaranteed life insurance policy is income tax-free if the policy remains in force. The cash value of the single pay life policy is only tax-free if it is not used. If you withdraw or borrow against the policy, you will pay income tax. If you use the money prior to age 59 1/2, you also pay an IRS penalty of 10 percent on the money withdrawn.


Both policy types are good for burial insurance. But, your best policy depends on your financial goals. If you have a large sum of money you can devote to a single-pay policy, and you never expect to use your cash value savings, then this policy may be the best for you. If you need to pay for insurance over time, then the guaranteed policy will be best.

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  • "Life & Health Insurance, License Exam Manual, 6th Edition"; Dearborn Financial; 2004
  • "Practicing Financial Planning for Professionals (Practitioners' Edition), 10th Edition"; Sid Mittra, et al.; 2007
  • "Life Insurance"; Kenneth Black, Jr., et al.; 1994
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