The Public Administrator investigates and may administer the estates of San Luis Obispo County residents who die under the following circumstances:
- With no next of kin.
- With no appropriate person willing or able to act as administrator.
- When appointed by the court because of an extraordinary situation.
The duties of the Public Administrator include:
- Protect the decedent's property from waste, loss, or theft.
- Conduct a thorough on-site investigation to discover wills, pre-planned funeral arrangements, and estate assets and debts.
- Make appropriate burial arrangements according to the decedent's will, burial instructions, or department policy.
- Open a summary or formal probate with the Superior Court when necessary.
- Manage, insure, and sell real and personal property as required.
- Pay decedent's bills and taxes.
- Locate persons entitled to inherit from the estate and ensure that these individuals receive their inheritance.