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Yes, you can take out a policy on him because you have an "insurable interest" in his life. In fact I applaud you for your financial planning in the face of resistance.

You would start by getting life insurance quotes for a policy on him. You'll need to know his current health history and his family's health history (e.g. diseases in his family), among other basic questions about him.

But at a certain point he'll need to become a willing participant -- he'll likely need to undergo a life insurance medical exam and sign a release for his medical records. If you want to avoid the medical exam part you could do a guaranteed issue or simplified issue policy, but you're going to pay more for those. Better he bite the bullet and just do the medical exam.

You can be the policy owner (meaning you're responsible for the payments and can make changes to the policy) and you can list yourself as the beneficiary. I'm sure the life insurance agent will have seen this situation many times before and can help walk you through the process.

Here's more about life insurance policy roles.