Public Guardian

The office of the Public Guardian is responsible for investigating the need for LPS, Probate, and Limited conservatorships for Placer County Residents who, as the result of a disability, have lost the ability to care for themselves and have no one else willing and able to care for them. If, after the investigation, it is determined that a conservatorship is warranted the Public Guardian’s office will work to determine who is best suited to be the conservator (family, private conservator, or the Public Guardian), and make that recommendation to the court. The Superior Court of Placer County makes the final determination as to whether a conservatorship is needed, and who should be appointed conservator.

Types of Conservatorships

  • Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Conservatorships are for people who, as the result of a mental disorder (i.e., Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression) are unable to provide for their own food, shelter, or clothing.
  • Probate Conservatorships are for persons who have been determined by a doctor to lack the capacity to care for themselves, and/or are at risk of financial abuse or undue influence as the result of a condition other than a mental illness (i.e., dementia or head trauma).
  • Limited Probate Conservatorships are for people who have a developmental disability, but who have the ability to independently manage some areas of their life (i.e., housing or employment) while still needing court-ordered support to address other areas (i.e., financial or medical decisions).

Responsibilities of the Public Guardian

For Probate and Limited Probate Conservatorships, the court may find that a conservator of the Person, of the Estate, or of both the Person and the Estate, are warranted. For LPS conservatorships held by the Public Guardian’s office, conservatorships are always for both the Person and the Estate.

  • Conservator of the Estate - Manages the conservatee's finances, collects income, pays bills and taxes, buys or sells real and person property on the conservatee's behalf, and protects the conservatee's assets against loss.
  • Conservator of the Person - Acts in place of the conservatee to provide consent for treatment, placement, and support services.  The Public Guardian's office works with the conservatee's support persons to ensure the conservatee is safely housed and treated in a setting that is clinically indicated, least restrictive, and in the conservatee's best interest.

Referral Sources


Referrals can come from a variety of sources including: primary care providers, family members, psychiatrists, and skilled nursing facilities and/or other entities who have an intimate knowledge of the person’s condition and needs for support. Depending on the type of condition contributing to the perceived need for conservatorship, additional medical evidence will be required.

For more information about conservatorships, please contact the Placer County Public Guardian’s office at: 530-886-2900