How much does a handwriting expert cost? What does it cost to hire a forensic handwriting expert? This is probably the most commonly asked question that we hear when a new client calls our document examination office.
The most authentic answer depends on how many documents need to be analyzed and what exact forensic test you want to be performed.
SUMMARY OF ARTICLE
- Handwriting experts, also known as court-qualified forensic handwriting experts, are retained to analyze and determine the authenticity of handwriting or signatures on documents such as Wills, contracts, Deeds, and financial instruments.
- The cost of hiring a handwriting expert depends on the number of questioneddocuments that need to be analyzed.
- Handwriting experts are unbiased expert witnesses and are not paid based on the outcome of the case.
- Prices for hiring a handwriting expert can range from $300 to $800 per hour, with some requiring a minimum number of hours in their retainer. Appearance in court is often $2500 per day or more for an experienced forensic document examiner.
- Factors that can affect the cost of hiring a handwriting expert include the complexity of the case, the number of documents that need to be analyzed and photographed. The price also depends on the expert’s level of experience.
- If you need to hire a handwriting expert, it’s important to carefully research and compare expert credentials in order to find the one that is qualified and can best convince the jury that their opinion is correct. An experienced expert witness can be the key to winning a case.
Here are some examples of a few cases a forensic document examiner might have:
- What if you have a handwritten letter of Abraham Lincoln and you need to know if this document is authentic? Is that a $50 job or a $10,000 job?
- Answer: $5000 – $15,000 depending on if you need the paper and ink tested to determine the age.
- What if you need an expert to go to the local county courthouse and inspect your grandmother’s Last Will and Testament to determine if someone forged her name and created a fake will to steal your mother’s entire estate from the other children?
- A) $2000-$3000 depending on whether or not the expert has to travel to the courthouse and inspect the document in person with a microscope.
- What if you have a deed on a house that you think was forged and filed 10 years ago. All you have is PDF files and photocopies which you can email to the expert.
- A) $995-$2500 depending on the details and length inside the expert report.
In addition, if you are going to court, a verbal opinion won’t help you. You will need a written opinion. Written opinions can range from $1000-$3,000. You can check out a variety of experts and their prices this website or by calling our office to get a custom quote about your case.
Some states don’t require a Declaration Letter, just a notarized letter. Declaration Letters and notarized letters can cost more money than just a standard letter. Make sure of the cost and the type of letter you are getting beforehand. What state your case is being handled will determine the local laws.
So the answer to the question, “How much does it cost for a handwriting expert?” is, about $3,000?
Well, not exactly. Prices to testify are in addition to any flat fees or hourly fees for the examination. Often times at a trial it is common for the expert to have exhibits. Exhibits are pictures that help the judge/jury to visualize what the handwriting expert is saying and to understand why the signature may or may not be authentic. Creating exhibits is an additional cost that needs to be factored into a person’s budget. So, how much does it cost for a handwriting expert? In addition to the fee for the written opinion, you also have to add the fee to testify, the fee to create exhibits, and travel fees.
What if you need an expert to go to the local county courthouse and inspect your grandmother’s Last Will and Testament to determine if someone forged her name and created a fake will to steal your mother’s entire estate from the other children?
Answer $2000-$3000 depending on where the courthouse is located and how long it takes to carry all the forensic equipment to the courthouse to take photographs through a microscope and run any light test on the paper. Then, the expert has to sort through all the photos and compare the known signatures of the decedent with the signature on the Last Will and Testament.
Florida Handwriting Experts has many court-qualified forensic handwriting experts on staff. Just call today to get a quote in your budget.