Life Insurance is based on the fact that the majority of policies purchases are nevre paid out. Most buyers will allow their policy the lapse at the end of the term because they have been convinced that the term is over and the policy is worth nothing. Insurance companies want the policy to lapse. They get to keep the premiums you paid for as many as 20 years and owe you nothing.
The eventual lapse with zero value back to you is simply not inevitable or true in most cases. Many term policies have provisions to allow you to convert them to a permanent life insurance policy. By converting your policy to a permanent policy you can continue to enjoy the benefits that come from life insurance as you age.
The one issue with converting your policy is the cost. It may not be feasible to pay for the conversion and ongoing monthly premiums which will be larger than the ones you enjoyed during the term period. All is not lost however as there is value for you in the term policy before conversion. A life settlements is the answer. It allow you to sell your policy to someone willing to pay the premiums in exchange for some or all of the payout. This allows you to recapture a large portion of the premiums you have paid over the years. This payout can be as much as 40% of the term policy amount depending on multiple factors.
The best way to determine the value of your policy is to speak to a life settlement company before the policy lapses. They can give you an estimate based on your policy documents, age and health that you can use to make an informed decision. Speak to them about the different options available and you will be able to make the right decisions for you and your family.