guardian(redirected from legal guardian)
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A person lawfully invested with the power, and charged with the obligation, of taking care of and managing the property and rights of a person who, because of age, understanding, or self-control, is considered incapable of administering his or her own affairs.
n. a person who has been appointed by a judge to take care of a minor child (called a "ward") or incompetent adult personally and/or manage that person's affairs. To become a guardian either the party intending to be the guardian or another family member, a close friend or a local official responsible for the child's welfare will petition the court to appoint the guardian. In the case of a minor, the guardianship remains under court supervision until the child reaches 18. Naming someone in a will as guardian of one's child in case of the death of the parent is merely a nomination. The judge does not have to honor that request, although he/she usually does. Sadly enough, often a parent must petition to become the guardian of his/her child's "estate" if the child inherits or receives a gift of substantial assets, including the situation in which a parent gives his/her own child an interest in real property or stocks. Therefore, that type of gift should be avoided, and a trust created instead. While the term "guardian" also may refer to someone who is appointed to care of and/or handle the affairs of a person who is incompetent or incapable of administering his/her affairs, this is more often called a "conservator" under a conservatorship. (See: conservator, ward)
guardiannoun argus, attendant, bodyguard, champion, chaperon, conductor, conservator, custodian, custos, defender, defensor, escort, guard, keeper, overseer, patron, praeses, preserver, protector, safeguard, safekeeper, sentinel, sponsor, superintendent, supervisor, trustee, tutelar, warden, warder, watchman
Associated concepts: de facto guardian, domestic guardian, general guardian, guardian ad litem, guardian by statute, guardian de son tort, guardian of the person, legal guardian, special guardian, testamentary guardian
Foreign phrases: Tuta est custodia quae sibimet creditur.That guardianship is secure which trusts to itself alone. Lucrum facere ex pupilli tutela tutor non debet. A guardian ought not to make money out of the guardianship of his ward. Custos statum haeredis in custodia existennis meliorem, non deteriorem, facere potest. A guardian can make the estate of an existing heir under his guardiannhip better, but not worse. Minor minorem custodire non debet, alios enim praesumitur male regere qui seipsum regere nescit. A minor ought not to be guardian to a minor, for a person who knows not how to govern himself is preeumed to be unfit to govern others.
See also: administrator, caretaker, custodian, fiduciary, patron, protective, sponsor, superintendent, trustee, warden