If you are aware of an estate of a decedent that is in danger of loss or waste because no one is or appears to be acting to administer the estate, a referral to the Public Administrator is appropriate. While cases are referred to the Public Administrator primarily by the Coroner we also receive referrals from public service agencies, friends, neighbors, creditors, hospitals, nursing homes, funeral directors and others. Anyone who knows of a decedent of San Bernardino County whose estate is at risk of loss, injury, waste or misappropriation can and should make a referral to the Public Administrator.
The form for making such a referral is provided here. It is in portable document format (.pdf). The form can filled out and printed or printed out and completed by hand and then mailed or delivered to the Public Administrator at 175 South Lena Road, San Bernardino CA , 92415-0335. If you have any questions about making a referral or how to complete the form, please write care of the above address or call us at (909) 387-2481 or (909) 387-2978.
For your information, the Public Administrator may be appointed under the following circumstances:
When no executor or administrator has been appointed and, in consequence thereof, the property, or any part thereof, is being wasted, uncared for or lost.
When ordered to be appointed by the Court.
When an heir nominates the Public Administrator, or the Will names the Public Administrator as Executor.
When there are no known heirs of the estate.
For an heir who resides outside of the State of California and requests the Public Administrator.
When the named Executor fails to act on a Formal Probate and no other person has a preferred right.
At the time of the original investigation, the Deputy Public Administrator looks for all leads which may indicate assets of the decedent. These leads are followed up in due course during the administration of the estate. Unless someone has deliberately hidden assets, all assets are usually located before the close of the administration.
The Public Administrator will make a prompt search for other property, a Will, and instructions for disposition of the decedents remains. If a Will or instructions for disposition is found, the Public Administrator shall deliver the Will to the Court as provided in Section 8200 and Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code respectively. If there is a custodian of the Will, the Public Administrator shall direct the Custodian to file as appropriate. If other property is located, the Public Administrator shall take possession or control of that property so that it will not be damaged or lost.