Another way to "Think" about term versus whole is to determine whether you are protecting a risk of IF I die or WHEN I die.
For example, IF you die before the mortgage is paid off, then you want to pay it off. IF you die before the kids start school you want to pay for tuition. Or...
WHEN I die, the business needs to be sold/bought. WHEN I die there will be estate taxes.
IFs are candidates for term insurance, WHENs are candidates for whole life.
It is never quite this simple, but IF or WHEN is a good place to start.