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What are the dangers of using AI in Will writing?

A Will is a crucial document.  Your Will makes sure everything you own is shared exactly as you want it to be when you pass away.  However, as with all areas of life, technology and more specifically AI is creeping in to Will writing but what are the dangers of using AI in Will writing?

On the face of it adding AI to the Will writing process seems to be a natural step.

AI is already receiving plaudits across a range of sectors for the speed, efficiency and accuracy of the documents it can produce.  The fact these documents are produced at almost no cost has only added to their growing popularity.

Looking more closely at applying these benefits to Will writing, from the point of view of the content of a Will, most will cover the same types of areas and assets, your savings, property, valuables, pension, shares and personal heirlooms.  Surely an AI can pick up and learn the ways these assets are dealt with?

Then from the AI’s point of view, it is more than capable of asking the series of multiple choice questions required to order the information required and set out the desired vision of the assets.

However, while this all makes AI-drafted Wills seem like a natural progression, it is important to note there are significant risks involved in using AI in Will writing.  As such, an AI-drafted Will could end up costing you and your beneficiaries dearly.

What are the risks of using AI to draft Wills?

When it comes to professional advice, there are always several rules to bear in mind whether AI is involved or not:

  • Cost is very different to value
  • ‘Quick and easy’ is exactly that; it will never cover all the involved detail
  • Low cost, speed and simplicity are rarely the best metrics to entrust your family’s inheritance to

Looking more specifically at using AI to draft Wills, while AI may look exciting, it is still fairly limited.  Its underlying code will likely to be based on 15-20 basic and pre-set questions.  An experienced private client lawyer could ask hundreds of questions depending on what is involved.  Moreover, all these questions will be specifically tailored to the person in question, their families, their assets and of course, their wishes.

These questions will also be structured by experience and emotional intelligence rather than programming.   Only a human being can genuinely understand the human dynamics at play.  This means your conversations with your lawyer will uncover all the necessary details.  This results in a Will that covers all the required details to deliver the outcome you want.

It is also important to note that while an AI can produce a document based on the information provided, an AI can’t offer any meaningful guidance to support the less obvious aspects of that information.  A lawyer will provide the full range of legal advice needed and explain complex legal concepts like, for example, tax implications and suggest the right structures to take care of these issues.

There are also other risks to bear in mind.

There are huge concerns that AI-generated Wills do not meet the UK’s legal requirements.  If an AI-generated Will doesn’t adhere to these requirements, it is likely to be deemed invalid and, therefore, more likely to be contested after your death.

Your circumstances may change over time.  An AI won’t pick these up but as long as you remain in touch and conduct regular Will reviews, a lawyer will spot these changes.  They can then take the necessary action to spare your beneficiaries unnecessary problems, cost and upset in the future.

Similarly, the law around Wills and wealth management is likely to change over time.  A lawyer will be able to advise you on how this could impact your family’s future, an AI won’t.  As lawyers are regulated, we are obligated to stay completely up to date with all legal changes.

Using AI to handle sensitive, personal information should be a concern.   Can the platform you use guarantee the absolute security and privacy of your data?  Or could it leave open to theft?

Finally, you must consider the question of liability should anything go wrong.

With an AI-generated will, it will be extremely difficult to prove it is liable for the content of your Will.  This means there is no recourse for anything that goes wrong.  However, as lawyers are fully regulated, they can be held accountable for any mistakes that may have been made which gives you and your family the security of knowing they have a way to resolve any issues that arise from the Will.

We would always strongly suggest you should choose the expertise and guidance of a qualified and experienced lawyer when creating such an important legal document.  If you would like to discuss your Will with one of our team, please contact us today.