Cases are referred to the Public Fiduciary by physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, attorneys, Adult Protective Services, private fiduciaries, Social Security Administration, Arizona State Hospital, social and community service agencies and members of the general public.
An investigation takes place to determine whether a case is appropriate for guardianship or conservatorship and whether the public fiduciary is the appropriate petitioner. The investigator takes into account such things as personal care and placement costs, asset status, and the need and eligibility for public benefits. At the end of the investigation, the following questions are considered:
- Is the person at physical risk?
- Will the person suffer a financial loss if the assets are not protected?
- Is the Public Fiduciary’s appointment an advantage to the person’s situation?
In the final analysis, there must be a demonstrated need that a person’s needs cannot be met by any means other than guardianship or conservatorship.