Legal Hypothetical: Will artificial intelligence assist in the afterlife?

ARTIFICIAL Intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that focuses on the development of intelligent machines that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as speech recognition, decision-making and language translation.

In recent years, AI technology has rapidly advanced, and it is now being used across various fields, including education, marketing, healthcare, law and finance.

AI powered legal research has become a tool for clients to further understand their legal issues and potentially draft legal documents, including documents associated with estate planning.

However, providing instructions to draft a simple will into AI (ChatGPT), proved an interesting exercise.

This experiment asked for a will gifting $20,000 to cancer sufferers on the Mid North Coast of NSW and leaving everything else the surviving spouse, but if the spouse had already passed-away, the two children were to receive this spouse’s entitlement.

Using AI resulted in a document that was incomplete and invalid.

The AI-generated will overlooked fundamental requirements, such as the need for two independent witnesses to sign the document.

Additionally, the AI did not consider factors, such as the joint ownership of bank accounts, real estate and other assets.

The will did not address the effect of legislation regarding the death of a child and lacked clarity regarding the charitable gift.

The will made no reference to Executorial powers and did not address the making of gifts to minors.

Furthermore, AI was unable to identify the relevance of a range of other important issues including; whether the will-maker was part of a blended family, superannuation entitlements, and the suitability of the establishment of testamentary trusts.

It is crucial to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional when creating a will to ensure that all of the relevant factors are considered and that the will is appropriate in the client’s particular circumstances and is legally valid.

Thank you to Anthony Fogarty for his assistance with this column.

Email Manny Wood, principal solicitor at TB Law at or call him on (02) 66 487 487.

By Manny WOOD, Solicitor

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