What is the Public Administrator?

The Public Administrator is an arm of the County in Los Angeles which handles estate administration of individuals whose families have not been located, or whose families do not want to administer the probate estate.

When is the Public Administrator appointed? When there are no suitable family members or next of kin available to close an estate, the probate court can appoint the Public Administrator to do the job of an executor or administrator.

Does the Public Administrator have any powers? Yes, they have the right to enter the property of the decedent, collect the assets, store them, inventory them, sell and distribute the assets. All of their actions come under the supervision of the probate court. The PA is represented by attorneys called County Counsel. In Los Angeles County, the Public Administrator is represented by attorneys at the County Counsel’s office.

What can the Public Administrator do?

The P.A., as called for short, collects or marshals all of the assets of the deceased person, located potentials heirs, pays the creditors, inventories the assets, and then distributes the assets to the heirs of the deceased person. They do not take sides between the beneficiaries or heirs. They merely focus on collection and distribution. Yes, it takes longer to close an estate with the Public Administrator because it is not a private entity. A private administrator called a professional fiduciary also handles estates the same way, but at a much faster speed.

How do you talk to the Public Administrator?

Each case is assigned to a particular case worker at the Public Administrator’ office. You must locate the person assigned to your case by knowing the case number of the probate case, and the name of the deceased person.

Can an attorney help handle things with the Public Administrator?

Yes, an experienced probate attorney knows most of the County Counsel, and the persons in charge of Public Administration of Estate and can help ease your way in getting things done in estates which you may or may not be able to do on your own.

Connecting to us: Attorney Mina Sirkin handles all matters where a probate administrator is needed. Call on us to get you through the maze of public administrator matters. Call 818.340.4479

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