County of Alameda

Estate Investigator (#8500)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Misc Sub/Para Prof (012)
$43.05-$52.33 Hourly / $3,444.00-$4,186.40 BiWeekly /
$7,462.00-$9,070.53 Monthly / $89,544.00-$108,846.40 Yearly

Under direction, the Estate Investigator is responsible for assisting in the technical work required to secure and safeguard property of decedent and conservatorship estates, which are under the jurisdiction of the Public Administrator/Public Guardian-Conservator.


Positions in the Estate Investigator class report to the Chief Deputy Public Administrator or Chief Assistant Public Guardian-Conservator and are distinguished from the Chief Deputy Public Administrator and Chief Assistant Public Guardian-Conservator in that the latter classifications have management responsibility within the Public Administrator/Public Guardian-Conservator Office and for the supervision of all staff assigned thereto. Positions in the Estate Investigator class are responsible only for management of the assets and affairs of estates that are specifically assigned them for disposition by the Chief Deputy Public Administrator or Chief Assistant Public Guardian-Conservator. The Estate Investigator is distinguished from the Assistant Public Guardian conservator in that the Estate Investigator is responsible for matters regarding the safeguarding of decedents and conservatorship estates while the primary focus of Assistant Public Guardians is on managing the estates of conservatees and the social working aspects associated with conservatees.


NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

1. Responds to scenes, conducts searches for will, heirs and relatives of deceased persons and conservatees.
2. Locates and marshals personal property. Arranges for inventory, security, appraisal and auction of personal property held in trust by the Public Administrator/Public Guardian-Conservator. Maintains current inventories of each estate; arranges for proper storage of property; selects items for auctions; posts notices; collects proceeds of auctions for estates.

3. Investigates cases referred to the Public Administrator/Public Guardian-Conservator. Releases cases to private administrators or initiates legal process if retained. Releases assets under the provisions of the Probate Code.

4. Arranges for the security, sale, rental and/or maintenance of real property. Collects rents; stores and arranges for the sale of personal property. Applies for insurance and other death benefits.

5. Investigates claims, bills and other liabilities against estates.

6. Secures estimates for repair of property; prepares required detailed reports relating to the collection, management and liquidation of assets of estates.

7. Works with heirs or friends of decedents to arrange funeral and, in the absence of qualified or willing persons, makes funeral arrangements.

8. Enters and secures properties after break-ins; processes evictions; arranges for arrests of trespassers with the proper authorities.


Possession of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with a major in public administration, business administration, accounting, or a closely related field; AND


The equivalent of two years of full time paraprofessional level experience investigating, analyzing, managing or controlling real and personal property and other financial resources for a public agency or a financial institution. (An additional two years of such experience may be substituted for the required degree.)


Possession of a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator’s license is required.

Special Requirements:

1. A thorough background investigation will be conducted of all prospective Estate Investigators to ensure they are suitable for this line of work.

2. Estate Investigators are generally assigned to work day shifts, however, incumbents may be required to work evenings, nights, weekends and holidays.

3. Physical ability to lift and/or move heavy/bulky objects weighing up to 75 pounds and remove them using acceptable removal techniques.

4. Physical ability to climb stairs.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

• Provisions of the California Welfare and Institutions Code, Probate Code applicable to the duties of the class.
• Other laws affecting the work of the Public Administrator/Public Guardian-Conservator.
• Basic principles, practices and methods used in estate and financial investigations.
• Credit collection and investigative principles and practices.
• Basic methods of conducting a title search.
• Investigative techniques.
• Basic accounting practices.
• Procedures used in determining valuation of assets.
• Departmental policies and procedures.

Ability to:

• Communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing.
• Establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, other personnel, the public, contractors and representatives of other agencies.
• Maintain records and prepare reports and correspondence.
• Effectively adapt to changing policies and procedures.
• Understand legal documents such as liens, documents of ownership and encumbrances.
• Work under pressure and in undesirable environments with exposure to noxious odors.
• Deal effectively with individuals in emotional or stressful situations.

DS:po 12/2/09
Newspecs: 8500.doc
CSC Date: 01/13/10
DS:cs Revised/Retitled 8/4/10
Old Title: Sheriff's Estate Investigator
CSC Date: 10/20/10
IB:cs Revised 4/25/11
CSC Date: 6/1/11
IB:cs Revised 8/11/14
CSC Date: 9/3/14


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees) 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.


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