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Public Administrator

When a Placer County resident passes away without a will or any known relatives able or willing to act on the decedent's behalf, the Office of the Public Administrator may be called upon to manage or resolve the estate and/or the burial process.  This process may involve an heir search, an investigation into assets, or an indigent burial referral.  Depending on the outcome of the investigation, a formal Probate of the Estate by the Public Administrator's office may be required.

The Public Administrator investigates and may administer the estates of Placer County residents who die under the following circumstances:

  • With no next of kin
  • With no appropriate person willing or able to act as administrator
  • When appointed by the court because of an extraordinary situation

The duties of the Public Administrator include:

  • Protect the decedent's property from waste, loss, or theft
  • Conduct a thorough on-site investigation to discover wills, pre-planned funeral arrangements, and estate assets and  debts
  • Make appropriate burial arrangements according to the decedent's will, burial instructions, or department policy
  • Open a summary or formal probate with the Superior Court when necessary
  • Manage, insure, and sell real and personal property as required
  • Pay decedent's bills and taxes
  • Locate persons entitled to inherit from the estate and ensure that these individuals receive their inheritance

Referrals typically come from skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, or mortuaries.

To reach someone regarding Public Administrator questions, you may call 530-886-2900 during regular business hours.  The fax number is 530-886-2992. 

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