There is usually a Public Administrator in each district that is appointed to administer estates of deceased and assist manage the finances of living persons. This appointment includes the power to collect, protect, and manage assets of certain individuals, when no one else is willing or able to administer the estate. They are the default person to manage those cases. As Public Administrators generally take on numerous cases each year, they are a valuable resource for all things relating to probate and estate cases.
Decedent Estates and Trusts
The Public Administrator may be asked to administer the estate or a trust. This sometimes happens with estate plans when the person does not have anyone to nominate as their personal representative or their successor trustee. In most cases, the estate or trust is handled by the person’s heirs or a nominated personal representative; however, if next of kin cannot be immediately found, the Public Administrator will protect the decedent’s residence and assets until the estate is administered or until a qualified family assumes the responsibility.
Conservatorships and Guardianships
Sometimes guardianships or conservatorships can be a monumental responsibility for relatives. They involve petitions, evidence, court hearings, and then annual accountings to the court. Public Administrators can be appointed to protect and serve when no one is able or willing to fill that capacity. In many cases, the Public Administrator is appointed in cases where physical or financial abuse has occurred, and he is tasked with recovering assets from the perpetrator.
When a Public Administrator is appointed, the fees come solely from the estate and are required to be justified and reasonable and most often lower than the market rate. As the Public Administrator does not receive public funding, sometimes the cost of administration may come personally from the Public Administrator if the estate is insolvent. If you think the Public Administrator is right for you or need more information, please call us at 970-242-7847.