Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Public Administrator do?

In the 2010 interview of former Clark County Public Administrator John Cahill, provided above, he explains the important role of the office of the Public Administrator (CCPA).

Our office performs two very critical functions when a resident of Clark County passes away. When next of kin or a named executor of an estate cannot immediately step in to secure assets of a Clark County resident, the CCPA steps in to ensure that those assets are protected until they can be turned over to the rightful party.

Our office also administers estates when next of kin or the executor cannot. Our office will also often be appointed by the court to serve as the administrator of an estate, depending on the particular circumstances in that case.

I believe I am the rightful person to claim a Clark County resident's property? Can I just act to secure the property?
If our office has been referred the matter of your loved one, we must verify your authority to act on behalf of that person's estate before we can release custody. The executor of an estate, if the resident had a last will and testament, would have the authority to receive custody of that person's property. If there is no last will and testament, then next of kin would be entitled to secure the property from our office on behalf of the estate. If your rights are not clear, it is always advised that you contact an attorney in Clark County for legal advice.
I want to administer the estate of a Clark County resident but I need legal advice or forms. Does your office provide legal advice or forms?
Unfortunately, our office is not a law firm so we cannot provide legal advice or forms. Please review our page with more information here.
Where can death certificates be obtained?
Often, death certificates can be ordered through the funeral home that is handling final arrangements for your loved one. However, death certificates may also be ordered through the Southern Nevada Health District. You may visit their website or call (702) 759-1000 for more information. Our office has no involvement with death certificates. This information is provided as a courtesy.
My loved one’s vehicle was towed by the Public Administrator. Can I drive it away?
When a loved one passes away, that person’s insurance lapses. Given that there is no coverage on the vehicle, the vehicle cannot be legally driven until title has transferred and insurance coverage has been purchased. To lawfully transport the vehicle, a tow truck must be contracted at your own expense to have the vehicle moved to the location of your choice until the vehicle can be legally driven.

Does the Public Administrator clean the home before the family enters the residence?
Unfortunately, there may be bodily fluids that are left behind when someone passes away. If a loved one passed away in the home, the amount that may be left in a residence can vary. If we have verified your right to take custody of the property, you may still wish to contract for a biohazard cleanup before we have turned over custody to you. While our office does not conduct or pay for biohazard cleanup, we can offer assistance by allowing access to the residence for your biohazard cleanup company prior to your entry of the home. Please contact our office for more information.

My loved one had a pet. Do you have the pet?
Our office does not take custody of pets that are left in the home. When a pet of a loved one is found, animal control is called to take the pet. You may also contact our office to see if we have any record of your loved one’s pet. The coroner may have additional information on the pet.

Sign up for Clark County Newsletters

Subscribe today to get your neighborhood news