An AI Will

Image of robotic hand reaching out towards spots of light connected by lines. Image by Tara Winstead on Pexels.

An AI Will

I was wondering whether ChatGPT would create a valid Will for me and if so, what that Will would look like. So I asked it to write one for me. Here is my experience.

Before writing this post, I asked ChatGPT if it has a name, and it told me that its name is ChatGPT which stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer. I also asked what its preferred pronoun is, and it explained that it does not have a gender and that it would be able to understand me whatever pronoun I used. I chose the neutral pronoun “it.”

When I asked ChatGPT flat-out to write a Will for me, it politely declined saying that it is “not authorized to provide legal advice or services, including drafting wills or other legal documents.” It recommended that I consult with an attorney and explained that an attorney would help me create a will that “complies with the applicable laws in [my] jurisdiction.”

Then I asked it specific legal questions such as who can write a Will, what is the difference between a Trust and a Will and what is a Power of Attorney. ChatGPT gave me accurate generalized legal information—just as California Trusts Online provides here—but it referred me to an attorney for specific legal help, just as we do at California Trusts Online.

These first simple responses were reassuring. However, in discussing this experience with others I learned that there are work arounds that produce a complete form Will that only requires you to insert your personal data (name, beneficiaries, date, etc.). The one I saw is a very simple form that would not work if you also have a Trust and uses unnecessary and difficult legal terminology, but it did provide the Will despite its stated reluctance to do so.

When asked if it has ethics, it responded that it does not have ethics and placed responsibility for ethical judgements on the developers, users and society in general. It described the current ethical models as promoting “transparency, fairness, accountability and privacy.” This begs the questions of whether ChatGPT would adapt and create legal documents in the future if asked to do so directly or if its successor would forego any reluctance to write legal documents whatsoever.

At California Trusts Online we strive to use everyday English as often as possible and to use legal jargon only when absolutely necessary. Our documents are designed to work together so that if you purchase a Trust, your Will automatically accounts for that, and every document we produce is reviewed by a California licensed attorney. So you are assured that your documents are understandable, legal, professional and certainly not written by an AI.


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