Genealogists fees: How to ensure they are fair

Title ResearchBy Legal Futures’ Associate Title Research

When instructing a professional genealogist firm, it can be difficult to determine what costs are reasonable for yourself and your client. There are typically three ways in which the work can be charged and that is contingency, fixed or time and expense.

  1. Contingency fees

Contingency fees are often influenced by the value of the estate. The genealogist identifies the beneficiaries and then agrees with those beneficiaries to take a share of their entitlement when the estate is distributed.

  1. Time and expense-based fees

This is a traditional approach in the industry where the fees are calculated from the amount of time (usually number of hours) spent on the work and any additional expenses are added to the price.

  1. Fixed fees

Fixed fees allow you to know exactly what you’re paying before the work commences. There should be no hidden costs and the fee may be refundable if the work is not successfully completed.

Each charging method has its advantages and disadvantages, and Title Research’s informative blog post provides you with this detail. Click here to read the blog post about the three genealogist charging methods.

As one of the leading specialist genealogy firms in the UK, Title Research has assisted thousands of solicitors to administer their estate administration cases. This case study video tells Mrs M’s story of how she was contacted by another Heir Hunter firm and their questionable behaviour in trying to locate her inheritance.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about Title Research’s genealogical research and asset repatriation services, call the Client Services Team on 0345 87 27 600 or email


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