27 Feb 2018

How much?? Nick Beetham looks at our approach to costs…

nick-beetham

Before instructing us, you’ll probably want to know what our fees are going to be. It’s hard to predict the ultimate outcome of a missing beneficiary case but we work hard to give as accurate a forecast as possible. Between us we’ve more than 50 years’ experience in the industry and this combined with our knowledge of previous similar-fact cases means we’re usually in the ballpark!

Value for money

Clients tell us we’re very cost-effective in the market. When you ask us for help with a case, we’ll explain how much time we think we’ll need to dispose of it (and our time is what we offer, together with our tools and expertise) and factor in our hourly rate. At the time of writing, we’re just £80 per hour (plus VAT) and we charge any disbursements back at cost.

If we think a simple stray legatee job where the address given in the will is out of date might take us two hours to finish, we’ll quote £160 plus VAT and disbursements. An intestacy with dozens of beneficiaries spread all over the world will naturally take more time.

Shopping around

We shop around when we’re looking for goods and professional services and probably you do too.  When you buy forensic genealogy, you’re paying for time – so two good questions to ask are “How much time will you need to finish my job?” and “What’s your hourly rate?” It’s a good way to compare providers and we’re wary of dealing with suppliers who can’t answer.

Finishing the job

Two important points:

  1. We will always do our very best to quote a fee to finish the job for you, rather than simply making some progress, stopping work and then asking for more money.
  1. If our time spent comes in at less than implied by the agreed fee, we will always reflect that in our invoice. You can see evidence of this in our case studies.