So, there's been this little buzz around town (and by town, I mean the entire world) about Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking over every profession. From AI composing music to managing stock portfolios, it's hard not to be a tad bit fascinated—and maybe a smidge concerned.
But while AI is making waves in many sectors, when it comes to estate planning, there's no replacing the good ol' human touch. Let me break down why.
1. Estate Planning is Personal
Sure, an AI can crunch numbers faster than any human, but can it truly understand the dynamics of a blended family? Or the subtle nuances between siblings who may or may not get along? The process of estate planning goes beyond cold hard assets—it dives deep into family values, legacy intentions, and individual wishes. It’s not just about what you have; it's about what you want to leave behind and how you want to be remembered. An algorithm, no matter how sophisticated, can't truly get that.
Let's say you have a family heirloom—a century-old necklace. You want it to go to a family member who'll cherish its history and not just its monetary value. An AI might allocate it based on data inputs, while a human attorney will consider sentiment, family dynamics, and your emotions.
At the end of the day, you want to feel seen and heard. You want to have confidence your estate plan is going to do what you want it to do. AI simply cannot recreate that all-important connection between humans.
2. The Law is Always Evolving
The legal landscape isn't static. New precedents are set, laws get updated, and interpretations can vary. While AI can certainly keep track of updates, the application and understanding of those changes, especially in something as nuanced as estate law, require human insight, empathy, and discretion.
Consider digital assets like cryptocurrency. The way these assets are handled in an estate plan is relatively new territory. An experienced attorney can help navigate these evolving waters, weighing up-to-date legal perspectives with individual concerns and needs.
3. The "What If" Game
Contingency planning is a BIG part of estate planning. What if one beneficiary predeceases the grantor? What if a trust's stipulations aren’t met? Humans are adept at thinking through various scenarios, considering emotional and practical implications in tandem. AIs, on the other hand, work on probabilities and data—not always the gut instincts or nuanced thinking required here.
If a beneficiary has a history of financial irresponsibility or substance abuse, for example, an attorney might craft a trust that offers protection and support, rather than a simple outright distribution that an AI might default to.
While AI is pretty cool, there are some things that just need the human touch. Our lives, stories, and wishes are beautifully complex, and that's where our amazing estate planning attorneys come in.
Ready to pull the trigger on your own estate planning? Start by booking a Peace of Mind Planning Session with me. You’ll fill out a questionnaire, and we’ll talk about your goals and concerns. Then we’ll present your options and our flat fees. If we decide we’re a good fit to work together, we’ll discuss next steps. And if not, that’s fine too! The session is normally $350, but mention this blog and we’ll waive that.