French German Italian Russian
-A A +A

District Attorney's Office - Public Administrator


District Attorney Kirk Andrus also serves as Public Administrator for Siskiyou County.

The Public Administrator investigates, and may administer, the estates of persons who are residents of Siskiyou County at the time of death and who die with no will or without an appropriate person willing or able to act as administrator.

Public Administrator - Responsibilities

Duties of the Public Administrator may include any or all of the following:

  • Make appropriate arrangements for the interment of the deceased person
  • Protect the descendant's property from waste, loss, or theft
  • Conduct thorough investigations to discover all assets and debts
  • Search for next-of-kin, or locate all persons entitled to inherit from the estate
  • When appropriate, petition the court for appointment as administrator of the estate and follow through with all of the duties of probate as set forth in the California Probate Code
Public Administrator - Process

The Public Administrator may be notified of a death by various sources, including: •

  • The Coroner's Office
  • Mortuaries
  • Nursing homes
  • Residential care facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Private citizens (whenever a death occurs and they are unable to locate next-of-kin)


The Public Administrator conducts an immediate search for next-of-kin and assets.

If next-of-kin are located and are able to handle the estate, it may be turned over to them. If no next-of-kin are located, the Public Administrator will proceed, as appropriate.

Estates valued at under $20,000 are handled without the necessity of Court authority.

Estates valued between $20,000 and $100,000 (Summary Administration) require very little Court involvement.

Estates valued at over $100,000 require formal probate proceedings, with almost all actions overseen by the Superior Court Probate Department.

Under some circumstances, the Public Administrator may also arrange for the interment of indigents.

Before the county incurs the costs of cremation, an investigation is conducted to determine that the decedent is truly indigent and there are no known next-of-kin.

When administering a summary or full estate, the Public Administrator will:

  • Inventory all assets
  • Pay estate creditors
  • Sell all estate personal property (furniture and furnishings, vehicles, etc.) and real property
  • Provide accounting's to the Court
  • Ensure that the estate is distributed to the lawful heirs or beneficiaries
Public Administrator - Statutory Fees

California law provides a statutory fee for the administrator of an estate. The Public Administrator is allowed the same compensation as private administrators. The allowable fees are based on the value of the estate are as follows:

  • 4% of the first $100,000
  • 3% of the next $100,000
  • 2% of the next $800,000
  • 1% of the next $9,000,000


The Public Administrator may be named as executor in the wills of persons planning their estates.

District Attorney Resource Center

Resource Title Downloadable File Type
Bad Check Program - Merchant Registration Form Download File Application
Bad Check Program - Sample Merchant Demand Letter Download File Guide
Bad Check Program - Check Complaint Form Download File Other
Bad Check Program - Merchant Bad Check Sign Suitable for Posting Download File Other