Apply as a Transfer/Demotion applicant

$36.89-$49.20 hourly / $6,394.00-$8,528.00 monthly / $76,731.20-$102,336.00 yearly


Under direction, to plan, organize and manage the functions, services and staff of the Public Administrator's Division of the District Attorney's Office; to investigate and administer estates; and to do other work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This single position class is responsible for managing the Public Administrator's Division, which includes investigating and administrating estates of deceased persons. This position investigates estates, marshals assets, manages affairs and conducts business of estates in probate, reviews and approves payment of claims against estates, and locates heirs.

Typical Tasks

Plans, organizes and manages the functions, services and staff of the Public Administrator's Division of the District Attorney's Office; plans, assigns and reviews the work of subordinate staff; coordinates activities with other County departments and private attorneys; develops and evaluates procedures and standards for processing cases, complying with legal requirements, accounting for and safeguarding personal and real property, opening and closing cases, and handling complex monetary transactions; reviews all cases periodically for proper recording, calendaring of essential procedures, conformance with probate and other laws and with appropriate administrative procedures; conducts thorough investigations of decedents' estates placed under the jurisdiction of the Public Administrator; inventories and appraises personal and real property of the estate to approximate the value of the estate, to determine solvency, or make decisions in liquidation; searches for heirs, records of estate holdings, claims and relevant records of the estate for complete information pertaining to the legacy and possible heirs; explains to heirs and other parties, probate procedures and authority and policies of the Public Administrator; advises heirs and other parties on dispositive action, probable validity of wills, claims and liens, estimated costs of liquidation, taxes and general status of estate; consults with County Counsel to obtain interpretations of the Probate Code and other laws and regulations concerning real property, business operations, taxing of estates and other business transactions involved in administration of estates; consults and coordinates with County, State and various other agencies to resolve problems and procedures involved in administering the estates of decedents; appears, consults and testifies in court regarding the administration of estates; prepares correspondence and reports for the estate file, heirs, claimants, courts and other domestic and foreign public jurisdictions; manages estates of deceased persons with emphasis on conservation of the estate and physical maintenance of personal, real and business property; meets with interested parties and creditors to the estate to explain and solve complex problems regarding administration of the estate; reviews recommendations on complex, unusual or sensitive cases with superior; directs and participates in the liquidation of estate assets to achieve solvency of the estate; directs and participates in the distribution of all personal and real property of the estate; reviews all claims and verifies their status of the estate and their priority of claim; directs the maintenance and storage of personal and real property; directs the payment of claims and collection of rents and income to the estate; assists in planning, designing and implementing automated record keeping systems; prepares and monitors the division budget; evaluates program effectiveness and recommends changes; keeps abreast of legislative changes and recommends policies and procedures to incorporate changes; prepares correspondence and reports, signs checks, receipts and other legal documents; assists subordinates as needed in removal and storage of personal property; inputs, accesses and analyzes data using a computer.

Employment Standards


  • Working knowledge of principles, practices and methods used in estate administration;
  • Working knowledge of principles and techniques used in estate and financial investigations to determine decedents' assets, including real property, stocks, bonds and bank deposits;
  • Working knowledge of laws and regulations related to probate and estate management;
  • Working knowledge of accounting principles and business management techniques in evaluating and preparing financial records, real property transactions and contracts;
  • Working knowledge of basic concepts involved in wills, insurance policies, deeds and contracts;
  • Some knowledge of the principles and techniques of supervision and training;
  • Some knowledge of the application of data processing to office operations.

Ability to:

  • Plan, organize and supervise the Countywide Public Administration program;
  • Plan, assign and evaluate the work of staff;
  • Administer the estates of decedents, including paying taxes, managing real property, and safekeeping personal effects;
  • Assist in planning, designing and implementing automated record keeping systems;
  • Recognize and analyze problems, gather relevant data, establish facts and draw relevant conclusions;
  • Conduct investigations and gather information on financial resources, real property and other assets of deceased persons, including the location of heirs or other interested parties;
  • Deal courteously and tactfully with persons contacted in course of work, including distraught persons in difficult personal situations;
  • Read and interpret complex legal documents;
  • Prepare concise written and oral reports, correspondence and documents;
  • Prepare and monitor budgets;
  • Read, interpret, explain and apply laws, regulations and policies which apply to the administration of estates;
  • Perform physical tasks such as moving and lifting objects on an intermittent basis;
  • Input, access and analyze data using a computer.

Training and Experience: Any combination of training and experience, which would provide the required knowledge and abilities, is qualifying. A typical way to obtain these knowledge and abilities would be:

Two years of increasingly responsible experience which would demonstrate possession of the required knowledge and abilities listed above.


Ability to be bonded.

Possess and maintain a valid California Class C Driver's license or the employee must be able to provide suitable transportation which is approved by the appointing authority.


Analyst: JAD
Dates Revised: 11/81 

CLASS: DH7; REV: 7/1/1989;