Experience & Standards for the Probate Research Industry

The International Association of Professional Probate Researchers, Genealogists & Heir Hunters  (IAPPR) aims to provide a single, authoritative voice for industry professionals.

We want to educate, inform, regulate and advise professionals, the public and anyone else seeking an experienced and reliable opinion. IAPPR membership will indicate to lawyers, councils and others that membership exhibits a commitment to high professional and ethical standards.

The IAPPR was founded with the following aims:

  • Ensuring consumers & clients have recourse against rogue probate research firms

  • Promotion of the IAPPR member firms and the services offered by them

  • IAPPR members are ethical professionals, providing expert information

  • IAPPR members stand for improved ethics & standards within probate research, heir hunting and genealogy through information, education and the support of fellow experts

Definition.

‘The IAPPR provides an authority and association much needed in the sector’

What exactly is probate research? The probate research industry involves tracing, locating, and identifying missing or unknown heirs to estates of people who have died. This is often known as ‘Heir Hunting’ following the BBC1 TV series ‘Heir Hunters’. In the USA , firms are often known as ‘Forensic Genealogists’

Probate researchers will work on both intestate and Testate estates, i.e. where there isn’t or is a will, but the common theme is for there to be missing beneficiaries needing to be found.

Some professional firms offer useful additional services, primarily to the legal profession.

Clip from  the UK’s BBC1 TV series ‘Heir Hunters’

Unregulated Industry.

As the industry is unregulated, the IAPPR feels that probate researchers, genealogists and heir hunters need to have the experience and legal knowledge to complete their work properly and to preserve the reputation for quality nurtured over many years by IAPPR members.

Before the IAPPR was formed, there was no focus for quality control available for industry professionals, or advice geared to protecting the general public from poor practice. The industry has grown in recent years and it has unfortunately attracted some fraudulent and rogue heir hunters. But many other problems have also arisen through poor practices and sub-standard quality of work from longer established firms.

The aim of IAPPR is to provide a viable  association for professional companies operating legitimate businesses in the industry.

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