Court Bonds

Estate Planning and AI?



Can you use AI for estate planning? Sure. Is it a good idea to rely on AI for estate planning? Most likely not. Solid estate planning requires understanding nuances and tailoring tools, like trust agreements and wills, to specific circumstances, goals and intentions. Appointing a fiduciary also requires careful, personal thought.


AI Cannot “Read The Room”

Both a lawyer and an AI program can ask you questions and use your responses to “generate” an estate plan. Only a lawyer, however, can actually “interpret and analyze your answers, ask for clarification as needed, and provide experienced counsel and recommendations.” Helping people identify and articulate their wants and needs, and think through options are not skills AI has, and as estate planning experts at Kohrman Jackson & Krantz point out, personalized plans are the best way to ensure written documents actually align to intentions:


AI programs, similar to other online tools and software, can assist in creating basic wills and other estate documents. However, while it might seem easy and cost-effective, these programs can’t offer the expertise of an experienced estate planner. Furthermore, you may need more personalization than basic templates provide. It might not be cost-effective in the end if the plan doesn’t work as intended, potentially costing more to rectify mistakes from a poorly executed estate plan….AI cannot “read the room.” Often, estate planning involves sensitive issues for the individual or family. Understanding and explaining the nuances of a Living Will in determining end-of-life decisions, for instance, may not be communicated appropriately. Similarly, one of the benefits of creating a trust is the flexibility that trusts offer during and after one’s life. A templated document from a website cannot provide the flexibility that an experienced estate planner can.

When using online tools for estate planning, it’s also important to keep in mind that states have specific laws. In addition to careful attention to the language used in wills and trusts, diligence must be applied to even the protocols for signing and witnessing documents:

States have different requirements for executing or signing documents. Some documents need to be notarized, some need to be witnessed, and some require both. If there is ambiguous language in a will, it might lead to a will contest claim, resulting in litigation. Similarly, if distribution requirements are not clearly stated, the will might not be valid or could be contested. During an individual’s life, if financial and medical power of attorney (POA) documents are not prepared properly, court involvement will be necessary to appoint a guardian. This can be expensive and public, ensuring someone has authority to make decisions on your behalf. The probate court could appoint a guardian the individual does not even know.

Thoughtful and Comprehensive Planning

While it is typical to associate estate planning with making arrangements for assets upon death, it is wise to take a more comprehensive approach. What, for example, are the financial and health care arrangements that need to be in place for ourselves, in the event of a decline? A complete estate plan attends to these essential questions:

Some people believe that estate plans are just wills or trusts, but the reality is that an estate plan should have beneficiary designations, a letter of intent, guardianship designations, health care power of attorney documents, a durable power of attorney appointment and other legal documents included as well. An estate plan is about more than just passing on your assets, because it has the potential to protect you during life or when you’re incapacitated. It lets you discuss your wishes and make sure that they’ll always be carried out when possible. Estate plans may also help you distribute life insurance, to provide for a pet through a pet trust or to make sure assets pass on without having to go through costly, time-intensive probate.

Another decision that must be made carefully to properly complete an estate plan is the designation of a relative, friend or even a professional as the fiduciary who will carry out the arrangements reflected in the plan. Don’t short shift this step—anyone won’t  do: there are real, legally-binding, duties involved in executing a will or administering a trust. Depending on your circumstances and region, your fiduciary may be specifically referred to as an executor, personal representative or trustee. When representatives are designated, fiduciary bonds, alternatively referred to as estate bonds, may be required. Essentially, estate bonds serve as a protection for assets and beneficiaries, assuring that appointed fiduciaries act in the best interest of the estate and in accordance with the law.


Learn more about estate bonds right here. At Colonial Surety Company, a leading national provider of all types of fiduciary bonds, the steps to obtaining estate bonds are easy: get a quote online, fill out the information, and enter a payment method. Print or e-file the bond from anywhere—even the law office.


Obtain Estate Bonds Here.


Estate Law Practice?


Colonial Surety is here to help speed things up whenever and wherever a bond is needed. With a few clicks, you’ll arm your clients with exactly the bond specified.


Just log in to The Partnership Account® for Attorneys, choose a bond, send it to your client for payment, then download, e-file or print the bond. Specific obligee requirements? Trust us: Colonial’s a direct bond writer, so our experts are here to ensure the requirements of obligees across the country are properly met.


Our fiduciary bond portfolio includes: administrator, estate, executor, guardian, personal representative, probate, surrogate, trustee, conservator and the list goes on. Our court bond portfolio includes appeal, supersedeas, injunction, replevin, receiver and more.


Speedy, easy bonds court and fiduciary bonds, right here:

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