Can I Use ChatGPT To Write My Will?

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Can I Use ChatGPT To Write My Will?

Written by: Karlene Wightman l Legal Team


We are currently living in an age where technology is forever changing.  Having the ability to keep up with advances in technology and its capabilities is often considered a valuable tool to have in your back pocket.  However, like all advances in technology, you should always do your due diligence and consider for yourself whether the advances available to you are suitable and be incredibly cautious.

ChatGPT: What About Legal Issues?

A very topical advance in technology currently is the introduction of ChatGPT.  A lot of people consider it to be a fast way to obtain information and often use it to complete things like writing an article for work or school.

Full disclosure – this article has not been written in ChatGPT!

However, more recently a very topical point of discussion has been how ChatGPT appears to have the ability to prepare a legal Will.

On the face of it, it may appear that ChatGPT is an incredible product that allows you to type instructions for your Will and it will spit out a finished product.  However, using ChatGPT is a very dangerous method to use to create a Will.  You should always meet with a lawyer to obtain appropriate advice and have your Will drafted and signed properly.  I will now explain why…

Personal Circumstances

When you meet with a lawyer, they will ask you a series of questions about your personal circumstances.  For example:

  • Are you married or in a de facto relationship?
  • Do you have children or stepchildren?
  • Are you caring for a disabled child?
  • Are you currently working or retired?

The list goes on!  These questions allow the lawyer to obtain a proper understanding of your situation and, often, other questions and discussion points will arise from this.  There are several things that can be done in a Will to protect you, a spouse or children that cannot be catered for in what ChatGPT will produce.

Want to know more about the importance of creating a Will?  Check out this previous blog we’ve put together: The Importance of Creating A Will.

Asset Test

Once the lawyer has gone through your personal circumstances, they will then as you about your assets.  Questions like what assets do you own, how do you hold these assets, and what is your net wealth?  Again, the answers to these questions open up a range of discussion points in relation to how to set up your Will and deal with a wider succession plan.

Drafting The Will – Is It Legally Binding?

Once a lawyer has obtained the above information, we would draft the Will based on your instructions and discussion points that have been had, also taking into account your personal circumstances, your assets and the current legislation.  We then explain the Will to you, and you sign in front of two witnesses.

The legislation is very particular about how you sign a Will and how a Will is to be stored correctly, so even if it appears that ChatGPT is capable of creating a Will that would be appropriate (which would never be the case), if you do not have knowledge of all the legal requirements mistakes may be made and the Will would not be considered as legally binding.

Let’s Talk Legal Advice + Why ChatGPT Is Not Appropriate For Creating A Will

Some people might question why ChatGPT is not suitable for creating a Will.  After all, we have ‘homemade Wills’ that you can buy from the post office, and Online Wills that can be created.  In fact, Canny Legal offers an Online Will Service!

Home Made Will

While lawyers also do not recommend ‘homemade Wills’ that are purchased from the post office, the difference between this option and ChatGPT is still overwhelming.

When you buy the kit from the post office it asks a series of questions and leaves spaces for you to complete the questions.  While it is true that it will also not be reviewed by a lawyer, it does provide suitable guidance as to what decisions need to be made, such as selecting Executors, thinking about specific gifts and dealing with the ‘residue’.  It also provides instructions for signing and storage of the document once completed.

Online Wills

Online Wills generally, and particularly the services offered by Canny Legal, begin by asking a series of questions to determine whether, in your circumstances, an Online Will option is appropriate.

If the answer is yes, the Online Will is generated and reviewed by one of our lawyers and then sent back to you with instructions for signing.  Therefore, Online Wills are appropriate in some circumstances and Canny Legal provides the appropriate guidance as to who should use this service.

Want to know more about Online Wills?  Check them out here: Online Wills.

ChatGPT Option + Some Legal Information For You

ChatGPT does not ask any questions or prompt you in any way as to what should or should not be in your Will.

When using ChatGPT, you state what you would like, and ChatGPT generates that information in the form of a Will.  There is no person behind the website assisting in creating your Will, it simply pulls bits of information from various sources and puts it all together to create one document.  It will not provide any guidance as to whether you can legally do what you are asking or provide a broader succession plan.  Further, there is no ‘person’ reviewing the document to ensure its legality.

When thinking about using this option, while it may provide convenience, your Estate Planning is a very serious and important matter.  ChatGPT should not replace the advice and guidance of an experienced lawyer.  Choosing whom you leave your Estate to requires careful consideration.  Once you have passed away, you cannot alter your Will.  If you get something wrong, it could be the difference between your family benefiting as you have planned or things going haywire!  There is no way to predict whether any mistakes made would render the entire Will invalid, or only part of the Will.  The one thing that can be guaranteed is that using this online platform would only serve to cause more anxiety for your family than is necessary and probably waste your Estate money!

Canny Legal + Expert Legal Advice

Estate Planning, whether it be in the form of only in the form of Will drafting or a more detailed succession plan, is one area that should never be compromised by technology such as ChatGPT.  There is no ability to change these decisions once you die, as you do not want the legislation to determine what happens to your Estate because you did not get proper advice.  Always see a lawyer to discuss your options so that you can rest assured that your family will be protected in the future.

Get in touch with our team today to have your Estate in the safest of hands!

Pictured, Special Counsel Karlene Wightman standing with one hand on her hip wearing a vibrant pink dress

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