Public Administrator

About the Public Adminstrator

In Merced County, the District Attorney is the Public Administrator. County Mental Health Department personnel operate as Deputy Public Administrators under the supervision of the District Attorney.

The Public Administrator investigates and may administer the estates of persons who die with no will or without an appropriate person willing or able to act as administrator. The Public Administrator has the same duties and functions as private administrators.


The Public Administrator's duties are:

  • To protect the decedent’s property from waste, loss or theft;
  • Make appropriate burial arrangements;
  • Conduct thorough investigations to discover all assets;
  • Ensure that the estate is administered according to the decedent’s wishes;
  • Pay decedent’s bills and taxes; and
  • Locate persons entitled to inherit from the estate and ensure that these individuals receive their inheritance.
To speak to a Deputy Public Administrator at Merced County Mental Health please call (209) 381-6800 or toll free at (888) 334-0163.