Orange County Public Guardian


The men and woman of the Public Guardian serve the community by providing investigative and fiduciary services to a specific target population pursuant to state law.

Individuals who are mentally ill, lack insight into their condition, and refuse mental health services require the services of this agency to consent to mental health treatment during their recovery. Our goal is to provide the necessary oversight to treatment, care, and placement with our community partner, the Health Care Agency, so our clients may once again be contributing members to our society.

Aging adults, who as a result of a physical condition, become vulnerable and are at risk of either: physical, emotional or financial abuse and neglect may also require the services of a public fiduciary when there is no one  willing or able to act as a conservator. Our goal is to provide individualized personal and financial oversight to ensure our clients achieve the highest level of self-determination, autonomy and independence.

Our dedicated men and woman who are deputized to take on this responsibility are patient, compassionate and knowledgeable in fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities.

This office provides the full range of fiduciary services which include both personal and financial oversight. When a referral is received, the designated investigator will review and verify the information on the referral. If referral meets the minimum requirements, the Public Guardian will accept the referral for investigation. The investigator will conduct a face-to-face interview with the proposed client to explain the reason for the visits, the types of conservatorship requested, and ask a variety of questions to identify family members, history, personal preferences, educational, vocational, and financial background. At the completion of the investigation, only those cases meeting the legal requirement and internal target population will be processed for a conservatorship petition.

The Superior Court may approve the appointment of the Public Guardian, but may also deny the petitions due to the client's improvement, or approval of a competing petition.

Once the Public Guardian is appointed on a case the full range of fiduciary services is provided. Personal conservatorship services include: an initial assessment, creating a care plan, authorizing medical consents when the Court designates this power to the conservator, and authorizing placement in the least restrictive environment. Estate conservatorship services include: creating a financial plan, marshaling all assets, redirecting income to the Public Guardian, paying client expenses, managing investments, providing real and personal property management, selling assets in order to pay client expenses, and protecting the estate in tort actions when necessary. The Superior Court monitors the performance of all fiduciaries by reviewing all state law required Inventories and Appraisals and approval of Court Accountings.