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  Office of the Public Administrator  

The State of California mandates that each county support an Office of the Public Administrator through an elected county official. In Tulare County, the office is entrusted to the District Attorney. The Public Administrator is available to the general public for the purpose of administering decedents’ estates. These estates may have beneficiaries and heirs reluctant to administer the estates, because the estates have Medi-Cal, Internal Revenue or Franchise Tax Board debts that exceed the estate's assets. The estates may also lack any surviving beneficiaries or heirs to administer the estates. The Public Administrator takes possession of the decedent’s property and safeguards it until all obligations of the estate are met, and the remaining assets are distributed to the proper persons.

Public Administrator Estates are grouped into three categories:

Administrative – assets less than $50,000

Summary – assets less than $150,000

Formal – assets more than $150,000

Referrals to the Public Administrator come from the Public Guardian, State of California - Department of Health Care Services, Code Enforcement, the Tulare County Tax Collector, the Superior Court, the legal community, and the public.

The majority of Formal Estates currently being administered by the Tulare County Public Administrator involve a parcel of real estate (typically the decedent’s residence) which is of a modest value, together with a large Medi-Cal reimbursement claim. These estates are insolvent, meaning the assets will not generate enough cash to pay the debts of the decedent, after expenses of administration are satisfied.

In late 2007, the office of the Tulare County Public Administrator was restructured. The primary day to day activities of the office are coordinated by a Civil Paralegal, with a contract Special Deputy District Attorney who has training and experience in Estates and Trusts providing legal services, instruction and oversight. The Attorney makes all court appearances, fiduciary decisions, negotiates agreements on behalf of estates, oversees tax issues and communicates with estate beneficiaries as is appropriate. The Paralegal maintains all files, coordinates communication and correspondence for estates, generates the majority of correspondence and pleadings. In addition, a member of the Bureau of Investigations coordinates the estate real property site work, including securing properties and supervising repairs and maintenance.

If you believe the Tulare County Public Administrator may be of service, contact the Office of the District Attorney at 559-205-1000.


Office of the District Attorney, County of Tulare
 ▫  221 S Mooney Blvd, Rm 224, Visalia, CA 93291-4593    (559) 636-5494
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