Sample Research Agreement

THIS AGREEMENT is made this the DATE by and between Tara A. Fantauzzi, M.A. (hereinafter “Genealogist”), having a place of business at PO Box 4517 Clifton Park, New York, 12065, and CLIENT (hereinafter called “Client”).
WHEREAS, Genealogist is in the business of providing professional genealogical services, and
WHEREAS, Client has the need for such services and desires to engage Genealogist to perform such services. 

NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises contained herein, the sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the parties agree as follows:

Services to be Rendered

Please reference INITIAL CONSULTATION REPORT and QUOTE provided by Genealogist.

Condition Precedent and Effective Date

Client shall provide to Genealogist a summary of information known to him about matters set forth in the scope of services, which information shall include, if available, (a) copies of previous research reports or summaries, (b) copies of significant or relevant documents, and (c) lists of sources or collections previously searched. This agreement shall become effective (the “Effective Date”) upon the later of Genealogist’s receipt of such information, copies, and lists from Client, or upon Genealogist’s receipt of the retainer fee set forth in Section COMPENSATION below.

Time of Performance

Client understands that it is impossible to determine in advance the amount of time it will take Genealogist to complete the services to be rendered under this Agreement. Genealogist shall use her best efforts to provide the research services detailed in Section 1 of this Agreement within 8 months of the Effective Date of this Agreement, provided however that if Genealogist notifies Client of her need for additional time to complete the services to be rendered under this Agreement, that upon such notification, Genealogist shall be entitled to an additional ninety (90) days to complete the services to be rendered under this Agreement.


Genealogist’s fees are computed at the hourly rates in effect at the time the services are rendered. Genealogist’s fees are currently $150.00 per research hour, and $75.00 per correspondence hour. Client authorizes up to # of research hours and # of correspondence hours of Genealogist’s time to complete the work contemplated under this Agreement. Client understands that it is impossible to determine in advance the amount of time it will take Genealogist to complete the services to be rendered under this Agreement.

Genealogist has asked Client to deliver to her an initial retainer in the amount of 1/3 project total. This is a minimum fee and is the minimum amount Genealogist will accept to represent Client in this matter.  In the event that the fees and costs associated with the completion of the services exceed the minimum fee, Genealogist will bill Client monthly for such fees and costs and will expect payment within fifteen (15) days after the billing date.

Genealogist will bill Client for her services monthly and Client agrees to pay Genealogist’s statements upon presentation. Genealogist believes that her billing procedures are simple and clear; however Genealogist encourages you to ask any questions regarding her statements as soon as you receive them. If the authorized maximum of hours has been reached, Genealogist shall provide Client with the work product completed to date. Client may engage Genealogist to perform additional research, which engagement shall be authorized only by an amendment to this Agreement, in writing, signed by both parties to this Agreement. Client understands that if he delays in deciding whether to authorize additional research, Genealogist may have to spend additional time reacquainting herself with the facts of his or her case.

Should Client’s execution of the present contract be delayed by more than one month from the date it is present to Client for execution, Client understands that the stated fee may need to be renegotiated. The presentation date for this Agreement DATE.

Expense Reimbursement

Client shall reimburse Genealogist for the actual costs she incurs for, among other items, certificates, photocopies, parking expenses, telephone toll calls, family history fees, mileage and other reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, provided Genealogist submits an itemized bill to Client and provided that the total expenses do not exceed EXPENSE. If Genealogist anticipates that expenses may exceed EXPENSE, she shall notify Client in writing and obtain his agreement, also in writing, to the reimbursements of additional expenses.


Client understands and agrees that Genealogist shall use her best efforts to hold confidential his name, address, telephone number, and other identifying information about him, unless he authorizes their release in writing. Genealogist shall also use her best efforts to hold confidential all material furnished by Client which contains (a) information that is not a matter of public record or which cannot be rightfully obtained from another non-confidential source; (b) information that no one else had independently developed; and (c) information that Client has not disclosed to anyone else except under a strict, written, confidentiality agreement that has the effect of preventing disclosure by any other person or entity. Client understands that even though Genealogists may agree to keep certain information confidential, a court of law may be able to compel Genealogist to disclose that information.


Client understands and agrees that Genealogist can made no guarantees regarding what information, if any, may be found or what conclusions may be drawn from it. Client further understands and agrees that Genealogist cannot predict in advance the time needed to find information or prove facts or relationships, and that the risk of non-discovery, or of discoveries contrary to those desired, is on Client, not Genealogist.

Delegation of Duties

Client agrees that Genealogist may delegate certain research duties of her choosing to other qualified researchers. Genealogist represents that she will not engage any agent to perform research duties unless that agent holds credentials from a professionally recognized certifying or accrediting agency in the field or genealogy.

Future Use of Work Product

Client understands that Genealogist must protect her professional reputation. Except as specifically set forth in writing and signed by both Client and Genealogist, Genealogist shall have all copyright rights with respect to all work product produced under this Agreement, including any interim or final reports prepared by Genealogist for Client. Client is hereby granted a non-exclusive license to use the copyrighted report (s), but Client agrees that he will not otherwise publish or make multiple copies of the report (s) without first obtaining Genealogist’s prior written permission. Client also agrees that if he makes distribution of any anything that includes Genealogist’s research, in whole or in part, Client shall report it accurately and credit Genealogist as the source of such research.


If the parties are unable to agree on any matter arising out of this Agreement, the issues shall be submitted to the Supreme Court, Saratoga County, in the State of New York.


This document contains the entire agreement of the parties. It supersedes all oral or written proposals and all other prior agreements, understandings, or communication. Its terms may not be altered except by a writing signed by both parties.

Survival of Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions of this contract shall survive its performance.

Jurisdiction, Venue, and Controlling Law

This Agreement is being entered into in the State of New York, and shall be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, irrespective of the place of domicile or residence of the Client. Client agrees that the jurisdiction and venue for any litigation concerning this agreement shall be in the New York State courts situated in the County of Saratoga.


If any portion of this agreement shall be declared invalid or unenforceable, the remaining portions not so declared shall remain valid and enforceable.


The titles of the sections of this agreement are descriptive and are inserted for the convenience of location only and do not define or limit the material contained thereunder.

Third Parties

This agreement shall be binding on the heirs, legal representatives, successors, and assigns of both parties. Should Genealogist die before this contract has been performed, Client’s sole remedy shall be the return of any unearned fees.


All notices under this agreement shall be in writing and shall be deemed to be given three (3) days after deposit in the U.S. mail, postage pre-paid, and addressed as set forth in the first paragraph of this Agreement. Should either party wish to have his or her place of notice changed he or she shall send the new address by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the other party.

Execution in Counterpart

The parties acknowledge that two copies of this agreement may be executed, and that each shall deemed to be an original, but they constitute one and the same instrument.

Performance of Actions Necessary to Complete Transaction

Both client and Genealogist shall be required to execute any documents or take any actions that may reasonably be required to effectuate the transactions contemplated herein.

Waiver of Breach

The waiver of breach of any provision of this contract shall not be construed as a waiver of any prior or subsequent breach.

Dispute Resolution Costs

If a dispute arises in connection with this Agreement, and the dispute is fully adjudicated in a court of law, the losing party shall pay any and all reasonable costs, attorney’s fees, and court costs that the prevailing party has incurred in connection with the enforcement of this agreement.

Capital Genealogy contracts are powered by DocuSign, allowing our customers to securely sign and manage their contract online from any device with the most widely used e-signature solution in the market. Final contract terms are discussed during one-on-one consultation with professional genealogist Tara A. Fantauzzi.