The mission of the public administrator of the County of San Joaquin is to faithfully fulfill the legal responsibilities described in the California Probate Code. Some of the key areas of responsibility are as follows:
Secure property when a person dies in San Joaquin County in a relative or other appropriate person is not immediately available to claim it; provide for internment of a deceased person when there are no known relatives, make a search for next of kin, and if none is found, administer the estate of the descendant; Protect the assets and manage the affairs of deceased residents of San Joaquin County who, at the time of death, left no known heirs, no last will and testament, no named executor, or when there is no qualified person willing to assume the responsibility.
In addition, the P.A. may administer estates when either the Last Will and Testament or the heir’s request of the P.A. act as an executor/administrator. Also, the Probate Court may, at its discretion, assign the administration of estates under its jurisdiction to our office for consideration.
In order to carry out the assigned responsibilities, the San Joaquin County Public Administrator has trained probate case managers who provide services in accordance with California State Law. The Public Administrator utilizes the legal services of the San Joaquin County Counsel’s Office and an experienced attorney is assigned to provide legal representation to the office on all probate cases.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the primary duties of the public administrator?
The Public Administrator has the same duties and functions as a private estate administrator/executor, some of which are as follows:
- Protect the decedent’s property from loss, waste, or theft
- Make arrangements for the disposition of the decedent’s remains
- Conduct a thorough search for the relatives of the decedent
- Conduct a thorough investigation to discover all of the decedent’s assets
- Ensure that the estate is being administered according to the decedent’s wishes
- Pay decedent’s bills and taxes
- Ensure that all estate benefits are applied for and received
- Locate all persons entitled to inherit from the estate and ensure that these individuals receive their inheritance
In performing these functions, the Public Administrator is required to maintain a fully documented audit trail to make certain that every asset is accounted for and distributed.