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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 ?
This measure would add a new subdivision seven to section 35 of the Judiciary Law to provide that whenever the Supreme Court or a Surrogate's Court appoints counsel for a minor to fill a role comparable to that of a law guardian (FCA [section] 249) such counsel shall be compensated with State funds.
Attorneys (Law Guardians) are provided free of charge; a staff of social workers and support personnel work with the law guardians to determine how best to represent the clients.
They obtained this right in Ireland in 1896, much later than in England, when the first female poor law guardian was elected in 1875.
Local government affected more directly the lives of the poor, unemployed, and the vote-less working class generally - and Boards of Poor Law Guardians.
The old school was built at the beginning of the First World War at the request of the Poor Law Guardians of Newcastle to accommodate children from the Cottage Homes at Kirkley, near Ponteland.
In 1911 it was sold to the West Bromwich Poor Law Guardians who used it as a children's home and then as a mental asylum when it became known as the Great Barr Park Idiot Colony.