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Why Hire a Professional Genealogist?

  1. Ask for a letter of agreement between you and the researcher before any money is exchanged or work is performed.
  2. Insist that the letter describe the following points.
    • Scope of work to be performed
    • Hours to be worked for you with some pro-vision for time extensions under specified circumstances
    • Fees to be charged for various activities
    • Explanation of what the retainer covers and how it will be applied toward final payment
    • Provision for research to extend past terms of initial agreement and how additional authorizations are to be put in writing
  3. The agreement should identify who holds the copyright to the written research reports. Your researcher probably will retain that right. This means you cannot publish the report without the researcher’s permission.
  4. If your researcher is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and you believe he or she has not worked within the Code of Ethics, you can file a grievance with the organization. APG will work with you and the professional to mediate the disagreement.
See the Association of Professional Genealogists website for more details.

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