LETTER OF AGREEMENT
A formal Letter of Agreement is executed between the genealogist and client. Specific client goals are included in the LOA. The written agreement eliminates any possible misunderstanding by both parties regarding the project details and financial arrangements.
We recommend all individual client projects with brick walls utilize DNA. If DNA is used in the project, an Informed Consent agreement must also be signed by the client.
Clients will need access to email as all correspondence and reporting is electronic with the exception of completed legal projects that require a sworn affidavit.
A 20 hour minimum is required for most new research projects. Retainers for vital record retrieval and some other small projects do not require this minimum. The retainer of $3000 is due in full prior to beginning a new traditional research or Genetic Genealogy project. A retainer of $4000 is due in full prior to beginning a Forensic Genealogy (legal) project. Travel to and from repositories is billed hourly at the same rate as research. Clients are not charged for mileage. If the goal is met, question answered, or conclusion drawn prior to the 20 hours, unused money will be returned to the client. Most complex projects require more than 20 hours.
All additional expenses (such as certified copies of vital records, parking fees, overnight accommodations, etc.) are billed at cost plus travel time when incurred, and the balance is due on receipt. Research stops until these additional expenses and balances are paid. Non-payment of any research time and expenses incurred with THE CLIENT’S consent will entitle THE GENEALOGIST, without notice to THE CLIENT, to cease work on the project and THE GENEALOGIST will use all remedies available, including legal, to recover payment. No work product will be provided to THE CLIENT until outstanding fees are paid in full.
Round-trip travel is billed at research rates. In-state expert witness testimony requires a deposit of $1000. Expenses for these trips are additional and will be invoiced at costs. Clients are furnished receipts for all expenses.