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Ailira Australian Wills allows clients to create their own simple wills

Author: Judith Bennett Date: LIJ April 2023



Which practitioners would find this technology useful?

Ailira Australian Wills (AW) offers clear, basic, legal wills for clients with straightforward circumstances for a small fixed fee. Core clients are consumers whose circumstances fit such simple wills and who cannot usually afford lawyers (the “missing middle”). Ailira AW does not provide wills for more complicated circumstances and does not do probate.

This tool is best suited to small to mid-sized law firms working in wills and estates, as well as legal assistance and community legal organisations whose legal practitioners can refer clients to Ailira AW. Ailira AW brings in clients who may not otherwise see a lawyer. When clients need legal advice, have complex circumstances or seek probate services, Ailira AW refers them to external legal practitioners.

Founder

Ailira the “artificially intelligent legal information research assistant” that helps with legal problems was created by lawyer Adrian Cartland with his team at Cartland Tech. Believing in the inevitability of increasing automation of the law, Ailira was launched in March 2016. Originally designed to assist lawyers in automating legal research, later versions of Ailira automate legal information and legal documents with broader applications.

In parallel, Cartland also saw opportunities in the unserved market of the “missing middle”, and how automated legal AI could directly assist such consumers. In 2017, in a Darwin suburb, Cartland opened the first “law firm without lawyers” focusing purely on simple wills and powered by Ailira. On opening day, 42 wills were generated.

As Cartland has continued to work with this client demographic and the single product of simple wills, feedback has seen a greater emphasis on human support and guidance, and has also seen the technology becoming simpler. For this product it has changed from being a chatbot to an online form. Cartland advises that this simplicity has built trust and understanding and helped people use it, rather than technology like ChatGPT which clients see as “terrifying”.

What is it?

A client can call 1300-AILIRA and book an appointment for a video call, phone call or in person to the Ailira AW office. Offices are located in suburban, regional and rural areas aligned with the target demographic of consumers – often in local shopping centres.

The client can sit at a computer in the Ailira AW office or in their home, register, open the online form and enter their details. They are asked simple questions as they fill out the form guided by the Ailira AI. In all cases, a human being – the Ailira assistant – works with clients to check their eligibility for a simple will and to help them as they fill out the form with emotional and practical support. While the assistant does not give legal advice, they can help with the online form, such as explaining “what is your full name” and with guiding clients to standard information explaining legal terminology. Once completed, “the robot generates a fully certified will, using the Ailira system” according to the website. This is printed or emailed to the client with instructions as to next steps to finalise it.

Features and benefits

  • Provides simple legally valid wills for straightforward circumstances

  • Is quick and easy to use

  • Lets the client control what information is provided

  • Provides human assistants to give guidance and support

  • Has legal information available online and as print outs for reference

  • Generates legal documents fast, precisely and cheaper than a lawyer

  • Prints out and/or emails final documents to the client with instructions

  • Has been extensively tested to cover multiple circumstances

  • Ensures wills are legally up to date

  • Refers clients to an external lawyer for legal advice as required.

In the future, services may extend to a digital estate guide and broader estate planning.

Downsides

Like all legal information tools, robots like Ailira AW cannot offer legal advice. Rather, it can offer helpful legal information and refer clients to a human lawyer. Ailira AW currently only offers wills for simple and straightforward circumstances in Australia. I look forward to plainer language drafting in the future.

Risks

Data is held on Australian servers. Cyber risk exists as with all online offerings.

Cost

The simple will costs $150.

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