When determining the amount of coverage you should have, a review of your personal circumstances is necessary. A more simplified approach includes calculations based on a multiple of your income. A level generally recommended is eight to ten times your income and then potential reductions from that calculated amount based on your personal financial situation.
However, there are a number of additional issues to consider here. How much money would your dependents need for income? How long, after your death, would it take your dependents to become self-sufficient? What assets will be available to take care of your dependents immediate financial needs? Do you own assets (real estate, stocks and bonds) that may take time to liquidate? Will your estate owe substantial debts or estate taxes after your death?
At no cost to you, David L. Ramsey can help you analyze your needs and recommend an appropriate amount of life insurance.