The Office of the Public Guardian/Public Administrator
1620 Sunrise Avenue
Madera, CA 93638
Public Guardian/Public Administrator/Public Conservator: Deborah Martinez
Chief Deputy Public Guardian: Mardelle Temby-Chinn
What Does a Public Administrator Do?
The Public Administrator (PA) investigates and may administer the estates of deceased individuals with no will or without an appropriate person willing or able to act as administrator.
To make a referral please call the Public Administrator’s office at (559) 662-8891.
According to the Welfare and Institutions Code, a conservator may be appointed for a person who is "gravely disabled" meaning that, as a result of a mental disorder, the person is unable to provide for food, clothing or shelter. Certain criminal defendants incompetent to stand trial may also meet the criteria. The purpose of this program is to provide for individualized treatment, supervision, and placement of the conservatee and to manage their financial resources.
According to the Probate Code, a conservator may be appointed "for a person who is unable to provide properly for his or her personal needs for physical health, food, clothing or shelter" or for persons "substantially unable" to manage their financial resources "or resist fraud or undue influence." A doctor’s report would need to be filed with a petition for conservatorship. The purpose of this program is to protect and arrange care for the conservatee, to protect their rights and manage their financial resources.
No amount of planning can anticipate all the consequences of a serious disability, planning ahead can reduce the disruption in people’s lives. However, there are situations warrant legal intervention and protection provided by conservatorship. Conservatorship offers the highest degree of safety and security to the individual because of the court's oversight.
In all matters as important as disability and its effect on medical decisions and finances, planning ahead is critical. Consumers should be informed of their options through consultation with qualified professionals, regularly reviewing their plans, updating them as necessary.
How you can plan ahead:
• Living Trust
• Advanced directive
• Durable power of attorney
Abuse of elders and dependent adults is a crime. Abuse can take many forms, including physical and financial abuse or neglect. Suspected abuse should be reported to the local police and Adult Protective Services, the county agency responsible for investigating reports of abuse. Even when abuse cannot be substantiated as a crime, intervention may be necessary. The Public Guardian, using the civil process of conservatorship, may be able to prevent further abuse by taking steps, for example, to secure medical treatment or freeze assets.
To make a report of abuse/neglect call the APS hotline at (559) 675-7839.