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Public Administrator/Public Guardian Division
The Public Administrator of the County of Monterey legal responsibilities for Monterey County residents require us to:
- Secure property if a person dies in Monterey County and a relative or other appropriate person is not immediately available to claim it.
- Protect the assets and manage the affairs of the deceased residents of Monterey County, who at the time death, left no known heirs, no will, no named executor or when there is not a qualified person willing to assume the responsibility.
Can the Public Administrator or his/her staff buy estate property?
No. California state law prohibits the Public Administrator and his/her staff from purchasing estate property.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 08:58|
How can I contact the Public Administrator?
2620 1st Avenue
Marina, CA 93933
Phone: (831) 784-5999
Fax: (831) 753-1436
|Last Updated on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 09:59|
How does someone report such a case?
|You may call the Public Administrator's Office at 831-784-5999. Public Administrator Deputies will provide information and assistance. |
|Last Updated on Monday, October 25, 2010 12:23|
How does the Public Administrator sell the estate?
|The Public Administrator sells real estate property through licensed real estate brokers. Real estate property is listed with Multiple Listing Service and sold in as in condition after publishing legal notices. The sale is subject to confirmation by the Probate Court at a hearing open to the public at which overbidding the proposed sale price is allowed. The Public Administrator sells personal property through various auction houses or estate liquidators. |
|Last Updated on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:45|
How does the Public Administrator's Office get involved in a case?
The Public Administrator may be notified of a death by mortuaries, the Coroner, residential care facilities, hospitals, landlords, or private citizens when someone dies and there are assets to be protected or if the family of the decedent cannot be immediately located.
|Last Updated on Thursday, October 21, 2010 09:26|
Is estate property ever sold?
If an estate is insolvent or has insufficient cash assets to pay creditors, taxes, and fees, property will have to be sold to pay these obligations. If an estate is solvent and has sufficient cash, heirs are given the opportunity to select estate assets that they want to receive in the place of cash. If real property is vacant, it is usually sold as soon as possible. However, if an heir wishes to receive real property as part of his or her distribution, the heir should make such wishes known and reach an agreement with the Public Administrator as soon as possible.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:35|
Is there a less complicated way of handling small estates?
A less formal procedure called Summary Administration applies to estate having a value of $100,000 or less. It is designed to permit administration with very little, and in some cases no, Court involvement. Only the Public Administrator is authorized by law to handle a Summary Administration.
The law allows for a minimum compensation of $1,000 payable from the assets of the estate to the Public Administrator to offset cost of providing Summary Administration.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:16|
Should a beneficiary hire an attorney to represent his or her interests if the Public Administrator is acting as administrator?
The rights of heirs are fixed by law. It is usually not necessary to hire an attorney because legal work is handled by the attorney for the Public Administrator. However, if you right to inherit is not clear, is challenged or if substantial claims are made against the estate, you would be advised to retain legal counsel to represent your interests. The fees for such legal representations are your obligation and are not payable by the estate.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:35|
What are the primary duties of the Public Administrator?
The public Administrator has the same duties and functions as a private adminstrator, some of which are to:
- Protect the decedent's property from waste, loss, fraud, or theft.
- Make arrangments for the disposition of the decedents remains.
- Conduct a thorough investigation to discover all assets.
- Ensure that the estate is administered accourding to the decedent's wishes.
- Pay decedent's bills and taxes
- Ensure all estate benefits are applied for an recieved.
- Locate persons entitle to inherit from the estate and ensure that these individuals recieve their inheritance.
In preforming these functions, the Public Administrator is required to maintain a fully documented audit trail to make certain that each and every asset is accounted for and distributed.
|Last Updated on Monday, October 25, 2010 12:25|
What is a formal probate proceedings?
In the legal method of insuring that creditors of an estate are paid and that the reamining property in the estate is diestributed to the entitled persons. This process is carried out by the executor/administrator of the estate under the supervision of the Probate Division of the Superior Court.
If the value of the estate id in excess of $100,000, a Court proceeding is commenced by filing a petition who admit a will to probate and/ or appoint and administrator. After a hearing, the Court will issue its order to admit the decendent's will to probate and/or appoint a personal representative.
|Last Updated on Monday, October 25, 2010 14:16|
Who can make a claim against the estate?
Anyone who was owed money by the decedent at the time of death must file a Creditor’s Claim with the Court against the estate in order to receive payment from the estate. The Public Administrator, as personal representative, notifies all known creditors that they must file a claim within a statutory period.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:47|
Will the Public Administrator make funeral arrangements?
|Yes, according to California law, the Public Administrator is required to make funeral arrangements if there is no relative to do so. The Public Administrator Deputy will also assist the family in making necessary funeral arrangments in cases where the Public Administrator acts as administrator. The Public Administrator will make arrangments in accordance with any pre-need plans of the decedent, the ability of the estate to pay, and the Probate Court policy as to the reasonable amount to be paid for these services out of estate assets. |
|Last Updated on Monday, October 25, 2010 14:11|
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