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Public Administrator/Conservator

Salary: Public Administrator/Conservator I (#6212)

$18.18-$22.19 hourly / $3,162-$3,860 monthly / Range: 5148

Public Administrator/Conservator II (#6213)

$20.09-$24.52 hourly / $3,494-$4,265 monthly / Range: 5348

DEFINITION: Under direction, determines the need for conservatorship services; and/or, arranges for the care and well-being of persons placed under the jurisdiction of the Public Guardian; and/or, administers the estates of decedents and conservatees; and performs other duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This is a flexibly-staffed class. The I level is the entry-level classification in which incumbents receive training to perform the full range of duties in the area of conservatorships or public administration. Incumbents are expected to promote to the II level within a reasonable period of time. The II level is the journey-level classification in the series. Work assignments involve the more complex cases and require a higher level of technical knowledge.


Public Guardian (Conservator):

1. Reviews referrals requesting conservatorships and decides on the jurisdiction of the Public Guardian to act in these cases; assesses referred individuals to determine if they lack the capacity to care for themselves; evaluates information and makes recommendations for conservatorship services; seeks alternatives to conservatorship when available; counsels clients and/or family members in time of need or crisis; identifies and obtains benefits such as pensions, public assistance, medical care and housing; acts as a liaison between clients and local, state, federal, and non-profit agencies; provides general information to the public about conservatorships.
2. Investigates the financial, psychological, family, and social histories of referred individuals in order to determine if they meet the criteria for conservatorship; plans and arranges for client placement in a variety of facilities; coordinates care and treatment of clients; transports clients when necessary; makes home and facility visits and inspections; makes funeral and burial arrangements for conservatees; reviews and authorizes payment of clients' bills.
3. Writes professional reports that meet court requirements; attends court hearings and jury trials and testifies, when necessary; confers with legal counsel in preparation for trials or in the interpretation of laws, codes, and statutes.

Public Administrator:

1. Reviews requests for decedent estate administration or deceased indigent program and determines jurisdiction of the Public Administrator to act in these cases; secures evidence of births, marriages, divorces, military service, and jobs to ascertain location and disposition of estates; works with private and public agencies and institutions, such as the County Coroner, mortuaries, County Clerk-Recorder, banks, pension/retirement funds, heir seekers; searches for and interviews associates or heirs of decedents; makes funeral and burial arrangements.
2. Plans and prepares for daily living expenses of Public Guardian clients; inventories and appraises real and personal property of Public Administrator and Public Guardian clients; develops budgets and reviews and approves claims for Public Guardian client expenses or decedent estates; makes recommendations for the sale, rental and repair of real and personal property; assists in the removal and storage of personal property.
3. Writes professional reports that meet court requirements; obtains court approval for the disposition of assets; confers with legal counsel in preparation for administration of estates and the interpretation of laws, codes and statutes.


1. Possession of a bachelor's degree in psychology, nursing, sociology, law, or a closely related field; or,
2. one year of paraprofessional experience in counseling, social work, law, or health care AND two years of college coursework that included 15 semester units or 22 quarter units in psychology, nursing, sociology, law, or a closely related field; or,
3. one year of experience performing duties equivalent to Deputy Public Administrator/Conservator Aide with Santa Barbara County AND 15 semester units or 22 quarter units of college coursework in psychology, nursing, sociology, law, or a closely related field; or,
4. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Knowledge of: interviewing techniques for acquiring factual information; human behavior; methods of identifying and assessing social needs; basic principles and practices of customer service, case management, and public relations; fundamental recordkeeping and bookkeeping practices; basic arithmetic; English usage and grammar.

Ability to: conduct investigations and gather and document information on financial resources, personal property, real property, and potential benefits relating to proposed conservatorship by collecting and verifying information and preparing reports; learn to use investigative techniques to locate assets, liabilities, relatives and heirs; learn to interpret, explain and apply laws and regulations related to conservatorship and estate administration, including the Probate Code and Welfare & Institutions Codes; learn court procedures regarding conservatorships; read, understand, and learn to interpret documents used in estate management (e.g.,contracts, wills, tax returns, stocks, bonds, bank records, promissory notes and other legal documents) and in real property transactions (e.g., deeds, payment records, rental receipts); organize and prioritize work assignments to meet deadlines; make difficult legal decisions under time pressure and maintain objectivity and professionalism even under pressure from others; work independently; prepare and write clear and concise professional reports and letters; communicate clearly, concisely, and effectively in person and over the phone; establish and maintain effective working relationships with a wide array of professionals, colleagues, clients and representatives of other agencies or departments; learn the symptoms and behavior patterns of persons with psychiatric and/or medical problems; assist people under emotional stress or with medical problems or disabilities; exercise tact and diplomacy and communicate effectively with persons under emotional stress or with mentally disabled, hostile, or uncooperative clients and their family members; exercise appropriate judgment in answering questions and releasing information; analyze and project consequences of decisions and/or recommendations; work effectively with persons from varied socio-economic and cultural backgrounds; provide information for preparing legal documents; maintain records and reports; perform basic mathematical computations; access and use basic personal computer applications including word processing; input and retrieve data and information stored in computerized record systems; learn a variety of computer programs.


1. Two years of professional experience (a) providing conservatorship services and/or (b) performing decedent estate administration; or,
2. two years of experience performing duties equivalent to a Public Administrator/Conservator I with Santa Barbara County; or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Additional Qualifications: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License is required. Independent travel is required. Incumbents must be able to lift and move furniture and/or appliances; lift, move or carry bags, boxes and other objects weighing up to 50 lbs. Incumbents will be required to travel within and out of the county to visit clients and facilities.

In addition to the knowledge and abilities listed for level I:

Knowledge of: laws, regulations and codes pertaining to the Public Administrator or the Public Guardian; medical and psychiatric terminology and the symptoms or behavior patterns of persons with psychiatric and/or medical problems; investigative methods and techniques to locate assets, liabilities and heirs; public and private community resources and services for meeting the personal needs of conservatees; wills, insurance policies, deeds, contracts and other applicable legal documents; legal terminology and documents; court functions regarding conservatorships and public administration; procedures of Probate Court used in administering decedent and conservatorship estates; documents used in estate management and in real property transactions; procedures used in handling trust funds.

Ability to: prepare and write clear, concise and professional reports; identify and work effectively with people with a wide range of psychiatric and/or medical problems; assess the clients' immediate needs and ensure receipt of needed services through personal service or referral; represent conservatees in all matters relating to their well being including legal problems and the hiring of domestics to care for conservatees; make decisions relating to clients' financial affairs and conduct financial transactions; administer the estates of conservatees or decedents and manage a conservatorship caseload; prepare and maintain required professional reports, files, claims, and statistics.


Public Guardian (Conservator):

Knowledge of: the mentally ill and/or frail elderly populations; public and private resources to meet the needs of conservatees.

Ability to: write legal documents.

Public Administrator:

Knowledge of: estate administration, wills, trusts.

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