Probate Genealogy companies come in all shapes and sizes. At one end of the scale you will find an organisation such as Hoopers, with almost a century of experience and expertise, and a reputation to match. At the other end, there has been a proliferation of individuals and smaller firms established in the wake of popular television shows such as “Heir Hunters”.
All these organisations, large and small, have one thing in common - each and every one of them is unregulated, in any official or government-recognised capacity.
This has not prevented certain companies, some of which are among the largest and most well-established in the UK, from sending correspondence to potential heirs which might give the contrary impression.
Hoopers considers such claims to be misleading, to say the least. Probate genealogists who promote themselves as being regulated are in legal terms self-regulated, regardless of whether they purport to be the sole member of a regulatory body or part of a collective of other similar companies.
Claims to be members of the Association of Professional Genealogists (as Hoopers is) or to be regulated by organisations such as the Professional Paralegal Register or the National Association of Licensed Paralegals do not in any way constitute being subject to any formally recognised, statutory regulation in the same way as lawyers, accountants and financial service companies are regulated.
Our code of conduct is simple and straightforward - to treat the heirs we represent with utmost care and consideration, offer fees which are fair and appropriate for the level of work involved, guarantee a thorough and efficient service, and provide reassurances and any available information when requested to do so.
Should official regulation in our industry ever become available, we would welcome it with open arms and be first in the queue to register our interest. Until then, we will continue to operate in a manner which ensures our decades-long reputation in the legal profession is maintained.