Public Guardian

The Public Guardian oversees the care of people, including the elderly and those who are gravely disabled due to mental illness, who are unable to care for themselves. The Public Guardian functions as the legally-appointed guardian or conservator of persons found by the Superior Court to be unable to properly care for themselves or their finances. Once appointed by the court, the Public Guardian assumes personal and financial responsibilities for care of the conservatee and his or her needs and assets.

Responsibilities of the Public Guardian

The Public Guardian, acting as the conservator, is legally responsible for making all personal/financial decisions and for ensuring the safety, welfare, and well-being of the client. Responsibilities include:

  • Finding out-of-home placements
  • Coordinating in-home care
  • Coordinating and overseeing medical treatment
  • Arranging transportation
  • Shopping for necessities
  • Applying for benefits (e.g., Medi-Cal, Social Security, SSI, Veterans benefits, etc.)
  • Paying bills
  • Marshaling and managing assets
  • Managing real property
  • Storing belongings
  • Selling cars, houses, and belongings when necessary
  • Making burial arrangements

The Public Guardian also coordinates Ventura County’s Representative Payee Program. This is a voluntary program that provides bill-paying support to clients of Ventura County Behavioral Health who receive benefits from Social Security. The Public Guardian manages the client’s income and expenses with oversight from Behavioral Health case management staff.

About Conservatorships

A conservatorship is created by the appointment of a conservator by the Superior Court. Once appointed by the court, a conservator serves as the manager for the financial and/or personal needs of an individual who is either physically or mentally incapable of meeting those needs independently. A conservator may be a relative, friend, or any other person or entity including the Public Guardian. The Public Guardian acts as a conservator when no other potential conservators or alternatives to conservatorship can be found.

Forms & Documents

Useful Links

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