PROVIDENCE — In a dynamic intersection of law, estate planning, and accounting, forty business professionals gathered at the Hope Club on May 9th for a seminar to delve into the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) on these vital fields. Sponsored by the Catholic Foundation of RI and graced by the presence of Richard Henning, the Bishop of Providence, the event emphasized the evolving landscape of estate planning and investment strategies in an era where AI is increasingly present.

Panel of Experts: 

The seminar boasted a panel of experts, notably Patricia Thompson, CPA, MST, Partner at Marcum LLP, Gary Padula, CFA, Investment Director at Brown University Investment Office, and Celina Andrade, Esq., Legal Counsel at RI Department of Labor and Training, each with unique perspectives. In addition to the panel advisory, which attendees remarked was a “high-quality panel”, legal luminaries, estate planners, and financial professionals with distinct backgrounds engaged in thought-provoking dialogue, exploring AI’s multifaceted role in shaping their respective fields.

Themes and Discussion: 

One of the central themes of the discussion revolved around integrating AI into traditional investment practices. AI-powered tools offer unprecedented efficiency and precision, from streamlining administrative tasks to enhancing risk assessment and portfolio management. However, the panel also acknowledged the ethical considerations inherent in leveraging AI, particularly concerning data privacy and security. 

In the realm of law, AI-powered analytics are revolutionizing legal research, contract review, and even predictive analysis of case outcomes. Yet, the human element remains indispensable, especially in matters requiring empathy, judgment, and ethical discernment. Estate planners highlighted AI’s opportunities in optimizing asset allocation and tax planning but also underscored the importance of personalized client engagement and fiduciary responsibility.

Regarding the world of accounting and finance, with algorithms capable of detecting anomalies with unparalleled accuracy, professionals are empowered to provide deeper insights and proactive advisory services. Nevertheless, they emphasized the necessity of robust oversight mechanisms and ongoing professional development to mitigate risks and ensure ethical conduct.

 Throughout the seminar, attendees grappled with the ethical implications of AI deployment in their respective fields. From concerns about data privacy and algorithmic transparency to the moral boundaries of automated decision-making, the discourse emphasized the importance of fostering a culture of responsible AI stewardship.


As the seminar concluded, one thing became abundantly clear: the transformative potential of AI in estate planning, legal practices, and investment management is vast but only with its challenges. By fostering collaboration, embracing innovation, and upholding ethical principles, professionals can harness the power of AI to serve their clients better and safeguard their legacies in the digital age, but there is still much to be discussed and explored given the ever-evolving nature of AI.

With feedback from the audience including this year’s seminar was “well worth my time and helped confirm several views on how other professionals are experiencing AI” and that the “topic and speakers were fantastic and engaging”, the Catholic Foundation of RI looks forward to sponsoring this event for local professionals again in 2025.