Public Guardian

Who is the public guardian?

Each county in California has a public guardian, who is the public official who may be appointed to serve as a conservator when a person needs a conservatorship but no one has petitioned to be the conservator.  Due to the passage of recent legislation (Omnibus Conservatorship and Guardianship Reform Act of 2006), the Public Guardian is now required to apply for appointment as conservator for any person whose health or safety or estate is in imminent danger.

The court must order the public guardian to apply for conservatorship for anyone who appears to need a conservator if there is no one else who can do it and it would be in the best interest of the person.  If the person has any assets, compensation for the public guardian’s services is taken from the conservatee’s estate.  All funds coming into the custody of the public guardian are deposited or invested in the same manner as deposit or investment by the public administrator.  (The Public Administrator is charged with investigating and administering the estates of persons who die with no will, or without an appropriate person willing or able to act as an administrator.)

Services provided by the Office of the Public Administrator/Public Guardian are authorized by California Law and monitored by the Probate Division of the Superior Court of California.

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