The Pima County Public Fiduciary serves as court-appointed Guardian, Conservator or Estate Administrator (Personal Representative) to protect the legal rights and financial interests of vulnerable adults and administer the estates of deceased persons when there is no one else willing or capable of serving.
The Public Fiduciary also determines eligibility and provides cremation or burial for indigent persons.
Each county in Arizona has a probate court, which is part of the state’s superior court system. The probate court appoints Guardians for incapacitated persons, Conservators for persons whose assets require protection, and Personal Representatives for the administration of decedents’ estates.
The Public Fiduciary serves people who are estranged from their families, are the subjects of abuse or undue influence, have serious mental or physical health issues and have no place else to turn.
Cases are referred to the Public Fiduciary by physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, attorneys, Adult Protective Services, professional fiduciaries, the Social Security Administration, and members of the general public.
The Office of the Pima County Public Fiduciary was established in 1973 pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes 14-5601, et seq. The Public Fiduciary is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Pima County Board of Supervisors. The Pima County Public Fiduciary supervises attorneys, paralegals, social work case managers, finance administrators, asset supervisors, benefit specialists, and administrative and support personnel to perform a combination of legal, financial, human service and investigative functions.
It is important to note that the wards or protected persons for whom the Public Fiduciary is appointed Guardian and Conservator are not supported by any county funds or administrative budget funds of the Public Fiduciary’s Office. All support for the wards or protected persons is derived from the estate of the ward or protected person.