Public Administrator

Protecting, administering, and distributing decedent estates

Public Administrator

The Public Administrator (PA) is a legally mandated office of Alameda County government. It serves as a fiduciary capacity to distribute the assets of estates of county residents who have passed away and no personal representative has been appointed as administrator.

The Public Administrator's Office gets involved when there is no one else with higher authority to act. It investigates and may administer estates when an Alameda County resident has:

  • no next of kin;
  • no will or named executor;
  • no qualified person willing to assume the responsibility; or
  • an estate that the Superior Court identified requires intervention because of a contested will or other extraordinary situation.

Services Provided


  • Thorough searches for next of kin
  • Arrangement for the final disposition of the decedent
  • Identify and protect assets
  • Notify creditors and pay debts if the estate is solvent
  • Pay the expenses of administration
  • Prepare accountings of all assets, debts, payments, obligations, and any other relevant facts to the Superior Court, as required under the Probate Code
  • Distribute the balance of the estate to the decedent's heirs and beneficiaries

Referrals to the Public Administrator are usually received from governmental agencies, the Probate Court, mortuaries, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, creditors of the estate, or family members.

For more information or to make a referral, call 510-577-3539.

Did You Know?

Our staff performs exhaustive searches for next-of-kin and heirs, including international searches for relatives in countries ranging from Germany to North Korea.