Welcome to the website for the Monterey County Public Administrator/Guardian/Conservator Office. Our office ensures the physical and financial safety of county residents who are unable to do on their own, or are deceased. The Superior Court determines whether a conservatorship or administrator of the estate should be established. The court process includes petitioning the court and notifying the proposed conservatee and his or her family of the proceedings. A conservatorship is only established as a last resort through a formal hearing. The Superior Court can appoint the Public Guardian as a conservator of the person only, estate only, or both person and estate. The Public Administrator/Public Guardian/Conservator conducts the official County investigation into conservatorship matters and acts as the legally appointed Guardian, Administer, or Conservator for persons who meet the legal criteria for clients who are living.
Public Administrative Services
The Public Administrator takes control and safeguards all property subject to loss, injury, waste, or misappropriation of Monterey County residents who are deceased without leaving a will or apparent heirs. As the public administrator, we secure the property if a person dies in Monterey County and a relative or other appropriate person is not immediately available to claim it. We also protect the assets and manage the affairs of the deceased residents of Monterey County, who at the time of death, left no known heirs, no will, no named executor or when there is not a qualified person willing to assume the responsibility.
Public Conservator Services
The Monterey County Public Guardian-Conservator manages probate conservatorships and mental health (LPS also known as Lanterman-Petris-Short) conservatorships for Monterey County residents who have been adjudicated by the Superior Court to either lack capacity to manage finances and/or health care.
The Probate Conservatorship acts as court appointed conservator for frail, elderly, dependent, and cognitively impaired adults substantially unable to manage personal or financial affairs or who are victims of financial abuse or exploitation and who are unable to protect themselves. The Public Conservator provide services to assist elder or dependent adults in financial jeopardy, at risk of losing their real property, income, savings, or are being financially abused by artful and designing person/people.
The Probate Conservatorships are in accordance to the California Probate Code sections. The proceedings are held in and supervised by the Superior Court of California. The probate court can appoint a conservator of the person, a conservator of the estate, or both, depending on the needs of the conservatee. The court-appointed adult oversees the personal care and/or financial matters of another adult who has been determined by the court to be incapable of managing alone.
The LPS Conservatorships (also known as Lanterman-Petris-Short and Mental Health Conservatorship) ensures that individuals who are diagnosed with a mental illness or chronic alcoholism and are gravely disabled are afforded legal due process when involuntarily hospitalized in a mental health facility. The Public Conservator provides services for Monterey County residents who due to a severe and persistent mental illness are unable to provide for their basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter and are unwilling or unable to accept treatment voluntarily.
Investigation and establishment procedures are detailed in California’s Welfare and Institutions Code. These Conservatorships provide for involuntary treatment. The proceedings are held in and supervised by the Superior Court of California. The stated Legislative intent is to provide individualized treatment, supervision, and placement services by a Conservatorship program for persons gravely disabled due to a mental disorder. When appropriate, and to protect an individual’s assets, the LPS Conservator may petition the Superior Court to manage an individual’s finances.
Representative Payee Services
The Public Guardian can also act as a Representative Payee for Monterey County Residents who are incapable of managing their public entitlement benefits on their own behalf.
Public Representative Payee services manage and/or apply for any Public Entitlement Benefits for disabled Monterey County residents, with no available family or third party assistance, and who have declared by a psychiatrist that the individual is unable to properly manage or apply for benefits on their own behalf. We assure access to any health care and social services available.