Thinking about using AI to draft your will? Consider the risks

Thinking about using AI to draft your will? Consider the risks

March 4, 2024

In an era where technology continually pushes the boundaries of what is possible, the idea of using artificial intelligence (AI) to draft legal documents like a Will might seem innovative and convenient. However, there are significant risks that individuals should carefully consider before trusting a computer to produce a critically important document such as a Will.

Consider the fact that your Will is intended to be the last document stating your intentions on a host of important matters.  This may include the disposition of your real property and family heirlooms, the naming a guardian for your children, the transfer of business interests, the incorporation of trust language for a disabled beneficiary, Medicaid planning, and income and estate tax considerations.  These matters are unique to each person.  AI is wholly dependent on the information it is provided.  An individual using AI may not appreciate all of the issues that should be considered in a Will while giving prompts to AI.  As a result, an AI generated Will may fail to include key provisions and terms.

Even if a person provides the right prompts, there is still a serious risk that an AI-generated Will may be open to dispute or legally invalid.  The most popular AI platforms are “open-source”, meaning that the source code is available for any one to publicly use, modify and distribute.  This is problematic when one considers the potential pool of information (or misinformation) that AI is using to generate its responses.  For example, AI is pulling legal information across jurisdictions. AI may not be sophisticated enough to identify the jurisdictional differences, potentially leading to errors, omissions, or inadequate provisions.  This could create conflict and litigation in an Estate proceeding, potentially requiring a Court to intervene by conducting “construction” proceedings to clarify your intention in the Will. 

Another consideration in using AI to prepare your Will is the exposure of personal and confidential information. Any personal data that you input on AI may be publicly available, including such sensitive information such as your financials and family circumstances, and exposed to unauthorized access or misuse.

While AI may offer advancements in various fields, entrusting it with the task of writing a Will exposes you to substantial risks and limitations. The complexity of testamentary matters, legal intricacies, confidentiality concerns, emotional sensitivities, privacy, and the need for ongoing support underscore the irreplaceable role of human involvement in the estate planning process. You do not want your Will to become a source of confusion and conflict for your family.  We work with clients every day to ensure that their Wills are drafted properly and meet their estate planning goals.

Katherine Liebner focuses her practice in the areas of estate planning and estate and trust administration. She can be reached at 716.854.4300 ext. 236 or