(redirected from Guardian ad litem)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to Guardian ad litem: legal guardian


An individual or trust institution appointed by a court to care for a minor or an incompetent person and his or her property.


A non-parent who is legally responsible for a minor child or mentally incompetent person. A guardian may be designated by a parent, perhaps in a will, or one may be appointed by a court. More than one guardian may be designated for a single person, each with his/her own areas of responsibility. For example, a child may live with one guardian while another is responsible for administering assets left to the child in his/her parent's estate.


A guardian is someone you designate to be legally responsible for your minor children or other dependents who are unable to take care of themselves if you are unavailable to provide for their care.

You may name the guardian in your will or while you are still alive. In most cases, a guardian makes both personal and financial decisions for his or her ward.

However, you may name two guardians with different areas of responsibility -- perhaps one for financial matters if you have a substantial estate. If you become disabled or otherwise unable to manage your own affairs, the appropriate court in your state may name a guardian to manage your affairs.


A person who operates under court supervision and handles the affairs of a party—the ward—who is incapable of doing so.Wards may be minor children or those adjudged incompetent. Guardians may execute deeds on behalf of their wards. In some states, a guardian may not place a mortgage on property owned by the ward, nor may the guardian buy property subject to a mortgage.

References in periodicals archive ?
Simply put, a Guardian Ad Litem is a court-certified adult who has completed a mandatory training course to become an advocate for a child's best interests.
Young said the case came at a serendipitous time in that the Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office had been working with the legislature to clarify the consideration courts must give to the best interests of the child under the statute.
He said he immediately reopened the evidence in the case to allow the guardian ad litem to testify and allow her recommendations into evidence.
The guardian ad litem must notify OFAC of the name, interest, and addresses of the Cuban heirs involved in the estate, as well as the filing of an oath of the guardian ad litem with the probate court.
The guardian ad litem is an independent, objective adult with the sole purpose of advocating the best interests of the child in abuse and neglect proceedings.
Finally, the court ruled that guardian ad litems are entitled to quasi-judicial immunity, which provides an absolute bar to lawsuits for actions taken while they exercise their judicial function.
The same pattern has now occurred under Terri's Law, which explicitly requires a guardian ad litem be appointed for a patient whose dehydration has been suspended by the governor.
When a Florida judge appointed a guardian ad litem for a fetus, the state's highest court overturned his decision.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: ``When I was a Guardian ad Litem, I had a youngster who was 15 years old, and I worked with him for two years trying to get him on the right track.
For the past 30 years, children's advocates have debated whether the proper role of attorneys is to represent the child's expressed wishes or to act as a traditional guardian ad litem.
Today, according to her lawyer and guardian ad litem thomas Holum, she needs to be fed through a tube, but other than that, she's as active as any girl her age.