Dictionary of Law

guardian :: legal definition

Guardian - n. a person who has been appointed by a judge to take care of a minor child or incompetent adult (both called "ward") personally and/or manage that person's affairs. To become a guardian of a child either the party intending to be the guardian or another family member, a close friend or a local official responsible for a minor'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 majority at 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, 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" may refer to someone who is appointed to care for 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 also: conservator ward and Related Law Terms ↓

Related Law Terms

abortion :: n. the termination of pregnancy by various means, ... ed abortion continue in the future.
abuse of discretion :: n. a polite way of saying a trial judge has made s ... partner's realistic ability to pay.
ad litem :: adj. legal Latin meaning "for the purposes of the ... of age. See also: guardian ad litem
adjuster :: n. an employee (usually a non-lawyer) of an insura ... e company in approving settlements.
administrator :: n. the person appointed by the court to handle the ... e also: administer executor probate
admission to bail :: n. an order of a court in a criminal case allowing ... lient. See also: bail bail bondsman
adoption :: n. the taking of a child into one's family, creati ... the child are met. See also: adopt
advancement :: n. a gift made by a person to one of his or her ch ... tate gift in contemplation of death
adverse witness :: n. a witness in a trial who is found by the judge ... r the opposition. See also: witness
alimony :: n. support paid by one ex-spouse to the other as o ... ild support divorce spousal support
appeal :: 1) v. to ask a higher court to reverse the decisio ... ng, as in "he has filed an appeal."
arbitrator :: n. one who conducts an arbitration, and serves as ... he other two. See also: arbitration
arrest :: v. 1) to take or hold a suspected criminal with le ... anda warning probable cause warrant
attorney of record :: n. the attorney who has appeared in court and/or s ... eve have long since been completed.
authorities :: n. 1) previous decisions by courts of appeal which ... also: brief cite decision precedent
bailiff :: n. 1) a court official, usually a deputy sheriff, ... isdictional territory of a bailiff.
bankruptcy :: n. a federal system of statutes and courts which p ... y proceedings trustee in bankruptcy
bifurcate :: v. the order or ruling of a judge that one issue i ... is necessary. See also: bifurcation
Bill of Rights :: n. the first ten amendments to the federal Constit ... ved to the states or to the people.
brief :: 1) n. a written legal argument, usually in a forma ... another person. See also: precedent
calendar :: 1) n. the list of cases to be called for trial bef ... clerk of the court calendars cases.
caption :: n. the first section of any written legal pleading ... to the exact format of the caption.
care :: n. in law, to be attentive, prudent and vigilant. ... she is involved. See also: careless
case :: n. short for a cause of action, lawsuit, or the ri ... ny, the court stated the rule as:."
case law :: n. reported decisions of appeals courts and other ... es. See also: case system precedent
certiorari :: n. (sersh-oh-rare-ee) a writ (order) of a higher c ... cedents (previously decided cases).
character witness :: n. a person who testifies in a trial on behalf of ... ases and civil cases such as fraud.
charitable remainder trust (Charitable Remainder Irrevocable Unitrust) :: n. a form of trust in which the donor (trustor or ... ed up or committed. See also: trust
Chief Justice :: n. the presiding judge of any State Supreme Court ... nks of existing Associate Justices.
child :: n. 1) a person's natural offspring. 2) a person 14 ... almost all states. See also: minor
child custody :: n. a court's determination of which parent, relati ... pport custody divorce joint custody
child support :: n. court-ordered funds to be paid by one parent to ... ild custody divorce spousal support
circuit courts :: n. a movable court in which the judge holds court ... alled the Circuit Courts of Appeal.
citation :: n. 1) a notice to appear in court due to the proba ... se is not in point." See also: cite
civil calendar :: n. the list of lawsuits (cases) that are approachi ... y sent to trial. See also: calendar
clean hands doctrine :: n. a rule of law that a person coming to court wit ... ices. See also: affirmative defense
clerk :: n. 1) an official or employee who handles the busi ... stocking shelves, or counter sales.
comity :: n. when one court defers to the jurisdiction of an ... of cases to which comity may apply.
comparative negligence :: n. a rule of law applied in accident cases to dete ... utory negligence damages negligence
competent :: adj. 1) in general, able to act in the circumstanc ... all bases. See also: evidence will
complaint :: n. the first document filed with the court (actual ... g prayer service of process summons
conclusion of fact :: n. in a trial, the final result of an analysis of ... quested. See also: finding judgment
conclusion of law :: n. a judge's final decision on a question of law w ... aw if requested. See also: judgment
conflict of interest :: n. a situation in which a person has a duty to mor ... a position adverse to the customer.
conservatee :: n. a person whom a court has determined because of ... and the like. See also: conservator
conservator :: n. a guardian and protector appointed by a judge t ... ies. See also: conservatee guardian
contempt of court :: n. there are essentially two types of contempt: a) ... roduce evidence. See also: sanction
contributory negligence :: n. a doctrine of common law that if a person was i ... : comparative negligence negligence
corporation :: n. an organization formed with state governmental ... ation public corporation securities
court :: n. 1) the judge, as in "The court rules in favor o ... cost and wait of full court trials.
court costs :: n. fees for expenses that the courts pass on to at ... ee also: cost bill prevailing party
court-martial :: 1) n. a military court for trying offenses in viol ... the U.S. Court of Military Appeals.
creditor's claim :: n. a claim required to be filed in writing, in a p ... e also: claim in bankruptcy probate
cy pres doctrine :: n. (see-pray doctrine) from French, meaning "as cl ... ey among several S.P.C.A. chapters.
declaration of mailing :: n. a form stating that a particular document has b ... other party. See also: declaration
descent :: n. the rules of inheritance established by law in ... on inheritance intestate succession
devisee :: n. a person who receives a gift of real property b ... will. See also: beneficiary legatee
directed verdict :: n. a verdict by a jury based on the specific direc ... element judgment jury trial verdict
disbar :: v. to remove an attorney from the list of practici ... legal ethics. (See moral turpitude
disinherit :: v. to intentionally take actions to guarantee that ... rorem clause pretermitted heir will
divorce :: 1) n. the termination of a marriage by legal actio ... y separate property spousal support
docket :: 1) n. the cases on a court calendar. 2) n. brief n ... r or make notes on action in court.
duty of care :: n. a requirement that a person act toward others a ... e also: negligence standard of care
emancipation :: n. freeing a minor child from the control of paren ... vorced parent to pay child support.
enjoin :: v. for a court to order that someone either do a s ... so: injunction temporary injunction
equal protection of the law :: n. the right of all persons to have the same acces ... laws." See also: due process of law
estate :: n. 1) all that one owns in real estate and other a ... ife estate probate real estate will
evidence :: n. every type of proof legally presented at trial ... material object objection relevant
examination :: n. 1) the questioning of a witness by an attorney. ... irect examination testimony witness
excusable neglect :: n. a legitimate excuse for the failure of a party ... See also: default default judgment
executor :: n. the person appointed to administer the estate o ... sed decedent executrix probate will
extradition :: n. the surrender by one state or country of a pers ... ty. See also: fugitive from justice
fictitious defendants :: n. when a party suing (plaintiff) is not sure if h ... are not permitted in federal cases.
fiduciary relationship :: n. where one person places complete confidence in ... handling. See also: fiduciary trust
file :: 1) v. to deposit with the clerk of the court a wri ... rrespondence and notes on the case.
final settlement :: n. an agreement reached by the parties to a lawsui ... rneys present. See also: settlement
forfeit :: v. to lose property or rights involuntarily as a p ... drunk driving. See also: forfeiture
foster child :: n. a child without parental support and protection ... local government or a state agency.
gag order :: n. a judge's order prohibiting the attorneys and t ... st day in office, January 22, 1993.
gift in contemplation of death :: n. (called a gift causa mortis by lawyers showing ... ift tax unified estate and gift tax
Grand Jury :: n. a jury in each county or federal court district ... arge indictment preliminary hearing
guardian ad litem :: n. a person appointed by the court only to take le ... awsuit is filed. See also: ad litem
habeas corpus :: (hay-bee-us core-puss) n. Latin for "you have the ... nality of a state court conviction.
hearsay rule :: n. the basic rule that testimony or documents whic ... interest dying declaration hearsay
heir :: n. one who acquires property upon the death of ano ... y pretermitted heir succession will
hit and run :: n. the crime of a driver of a vehicle who is invol ... , and then walks back to the scene.
hostile witness :: n. technically an "adverse witness" in a trial who ... so: adverse witness leading witness
impaneling :: n. the act of selecting a jury from the list of po ... e juror jury panel venire voir dire
impute :: v. 1) to attach to a person responsibility (and th ... also. See also: vicarious liability
in personam :: adj. (in purr-soh-nam) from Latin for "directed to ... here. See also: in rem jurisdiction
incompetency :: n. the condition of lacking the ability to handle ... and/or represented by an attorney.
incompetent :: adj. 1) referring to a person who is not able to m ... n incompetency incompetent evidence
indictment :: n. a charge of a felony (serious crime) voted by a ... ictable offense preliminary hearing
indigent :: 1) n. a person so poor and needy that he/she canno ... person who is very poor and needy.
infancy :: n. although the popular use of the word means the ... nority. See also: ad litem minority
information :: n. an accusation or criminal charge brought by the ... Jury indictment preliminary hearing
injunction :: n. a writ (order) issued by a court ordering someo ... t. See also: injunctive relief writ
insanity :: n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a p ... M'Naughten rule temporary insanity
insolvency :: n. 1) the condition of having more debts (liabilit ... the property. See also: bankruptcy
irrelevant :: adj. not important, pertinent, or germane to the m ... ce immaterial incompetent objection
joinder :: n. the joining together of several lawsuits or sev ... er misjoinder multiplicity of suits
joint and several :: adj. referring to a debt or a judgment for neglige ... ution contributory negligence joint
joint custody :: n. in divorce actions, a decision by the court (of ... em. See also: child custody divorce
joint tenancy :: n. a crucial relationship in the ownership of real ... ty property tenancy in common title
judge :: 1) n. an official with the authority and responsib ... ice justice of the peace magistrate
jump bail :: v. to fail to appear for a court appearance after ... also: bail bail bond bail bondsman
jurisdiction :: n. the authority given by law to a court to try ca ... Superior Court Supreme Court venue
jury :: n. one of the remarkable innovations of the Englis ... hallenge sequester venire voir dire
justice :: n. 1) fairness. 2) moral rightness. 3) a scheme or ... e appellate courts. See also: court
juvenile court :: n. a special court or department of a trial court ... See also: court juvenile delinquent
kidnapping :: (also spelled kidnaping) n. the taking of a person ... but now applies to adults as well.
lapse :: 1) v. to fail to occur, particularly a gift made i ... eficiary devisee legatee trust will
lawsuit :: n. a common term for a legal action by one person ... See also: case cause of action suit
letters of administration :: n. a document issued by the court clerk which stat ... estate. See also: executor probate
living trust :: n. sometimes called an inter vivos (Latin for "wit ... thrift clause trust trustee trustor
long cause :: n. a lawsuit in which it is estimated that a trial ... dar call court calendar short cause
magistrate :: n. 1) a generic term for any judge of a court, or ... ce of the peace preliminary hearing
malpractice :: n. An act or continuing conduct of a professional ... eed. See also: errors and omissions
mandate :: n. 1) any mandatory order or requirement under sta ... See also: mandamus writ of mandate
Miranda warning :: n. the requirement, also called the Miranda rule, ... me such a suspect? See also: rights
motion for a new trial :: n. a request made by the loser for the case to be ... hstanding the verdict motion N.O.V.
municipal court :: n. a lower court which usually tries criminal misd ... nd/or small claims. See also: court
no fault insurance :: n: a type of automobile insurance required of car ... ling lawsuits. See also: negligence
not guilty :: n. 1) plea of a person who claims not to have comm ... t guilty by reason of insanity plea
not guilty by reason of insanity :: n. plea in court of a person charged with a crime ... fense not guilty temporary insanity
notary public :: n. a person authorized by the state in which the p ... he state which appoints the notary.
notice :: n. 1) information, usually in writing in all legal ... Thirty-day notice three-day notice
nuisance :: n. the unreasonable, unwarranted and/or unlawful u ... evening). See also: public nuisance
objection :: n. a lawyer's protest about the legal propriety of ... ng question object overrule sustain
obscene :: adj., adv. a highly subjective reference to materi ... en I see it." See also: pornography
officer of the court :: n. any person who has an obligation to promote jus ... also: attorney bailiff clerk judge
on all fours :: adj. a reference to a lawsuit in which all the leg ... ame conclusion. See also: precedent
on the merits :: adj. referring to a judgment, decision or ruling o ... s if this mistake had not occurred.
opinion :: n. the explanation of a court's judgment. When a t ... which the author is not specified.
order :: 1) n. every direction or mandate of a judge or a c ... defendant. See also: judge judgment
overrule :: v. 1) to reject an attorney's objection to a quest ... : appellate court objection sustain
own recognizance :: (O.R.) n. the basis for a judge allowing a person ... n recognizance. See also: bail O.R.
parens patriae :: (paa-rens pat-tree-eye) n. Latin for "father of hi ... pport custody divorce guardian ward
parental neglect :: n. a crime consisting of acts or omissions of a pa ... usive or sexually predatory person.
party :: n. 1) one of the participants in a lawsuit or othe ... y real party in interest respondent
petition :: 1) n. a formal written request to a court for an o ... dent. See also: divorce motion writ
plea :: n. 1) in criminal law, the response by an accused ... raignment plead preliminary hearing
pleading :: n. 1) every legal document filed in a lawsuit, pet ... nswer complaint demurrer plea plead
preliminary hearing :: n. in criminal law, a hearing to determine if a pe ... nment charge Grand Jury information
presiding judge :: n. 1) in both state and federal appeals court, the ... and chairs meetings of the judges.
presumption :: n. a rule of law which permits a court to assume a ... resumption at all, but a certainty.
pretermitted heir :: n. the child of a person who has written a will in ... cified $10,000 each. See also: heir
privileged communication :: n. statements and conversations made under circums ... See also: attorney-client privilege
pro tem :: 1) adj. short for the Latin pro tempore, temporari ... as "Sam Collins is Pro Tem today."
probate :: 1) n. the process of proving a will is valid and t ... e also: administrator executor will
process :: n. in law, the legal means by which a person is re ... service of process subpena summons
promissory note :: n. a written promise by a person (variously called ... lso: interest obligee obligor usury
proof :: n. confirmation of a fact by evidence. In a trial, ... doubt preponderance of the evidence
rape :: 1) n. the crime of sexual intercourse (with actual ... See also: date rape statutory rape
reasonable care :: n. the degree of caution and concern for the safet ... . See also: duty of care negligence
receiver :: n. 1) a neutral person (often a professional trust ... owing they were obtained illegally.
reformation :: n. the correction or change of an existing documen ... neral partner sues for reformation.
remand :: v. to send back. An appeals court may remand a cas ... ee also: appeal preliminary hearing
remedy :: n. the means to achieve justice in any matter in w ... gment provisional remedy settlement
remittitur :: n. 1) a judge's order reducing a judgment awarded ... party on appeal). See also: remand
reports :: n. the published decisions of appeals courts in al ... ilable in almost all law libraries.
respondent :: n. 1) the party who is required to answer a petiti ... "appellant") in the appeals court.
reversal :: n. the decision of a court of appeal ruling that t ... e of damages is ordered to dismiss.
rights :: n. 1) plural of right, which is the collection of ... evidence. See also: Miranda warning
ripe :: adj. in constitutional law, referring to a law cas ... or more issues raised by the case.
rogatory letters :: n. a written request by a judge to a judge in anot ... also: deposition testimony witness
rule :: 1) v. to decide a legal question, by a court, as i ... ee also: regulations rules of court
sanction :: n. 1) a financial penalty imposed by a judge on a ... ction." See also: contempt of court
sentence :: 1) n. the punishment given to a person convicted o ... ence restitution suspended sentence
service of process :: n. the delivery of copies of legal documents such ... by publication substituted service
short cause :: n. a lawsuit which is estimated by the parties (us ... l be reset later as a "long cause."
small claims court :: n. a division of most municipal, city or other low ... od example of a small claims court.
special administrator :: n. a person appointed by the court in a probate pr ... or administrator. See also: probate
special appearance :: n. the representation by an attorney of a person i ... anged. See also: general appearance
standard of care :: n. the watchfulness, attention, caution and pruden ... of care foreseeable risk negligence
standing :: n. the right to file a lawsuit or file a petition ... so: actual controversy jurisdiction
state of domicile :: n. the state in which a person has his/her permane ... orated. See also: domicile resident
status conference :: n. a pre-trial meeting of attorneys before a judge ... g a trial date. See also: discovery
statute of limitations :: n. a law which sets the maximum period which one c ... ies. See also: demurrer laches toll
subpena duces tecum :: : (suh-pea-nah dooh-chess-take-uhm or dooh-kess-ta ... ng a court order. See also: witness
suit :: n. generic term for any filing of a complaint (or ... "suit in equity." See also: lawsuit
supra :: (sooh-prah) Latin for "above," in legal briefs and ... d as Guinn v. United States, supra.
Supreme Court :: n. 1) the highest court in the United States, whic ... rt in other states. See also: court
tax :: n. a governmental assessment (charge) upon propert ... unified estate and gift tax use tax
title :: n. 1) ownership of real property or personal prope ... ink slip real property title search
trial :: n. the examination of facts and law presided over ... at a hearing held at a later time.
trust :: n. an entity created to hold assets for the benefi ... testamentary trust trustee trustor
venue :: n. 1) the proper or most convenient location for t ... ion. See also: forum non conveniens
ward :: n. 1) a person (usually a minor) who has a guardia ... ouncil district. See also: guardian
warrant :: 1) n. an order (writ) of a court which directs a l ... e search and seizure search warrant
will :: n. a written document which leaves the estate of t ... will and testament probate testator
wrongful death :: n. the death of a human being as the result of a w ... ual beneficiaries (family members).

Popular Law Searches

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Other Law Terms - G

gag order :: n. a judge's order prohibiting the attorneys and t ... st day in office, January 22, 1993.
garnish :: v. to obtain a court order directing a party holdi ... ed. See also: garnishee garnishment
garnishee :: n. a person or entity, quite often a bank or emplo ... ourt. See also: garnish garnishment
garnishment :: n. the entire process of petitioning for and getti ... heriff. See also: garnish garnishee
gender bias :: n. unequal treatment in employment opportunity (su ... statutes. See also: discrimination
general appearance :: n. an attorney's representation of a client in cou ... case. See also: special appearance
general counsel :: n. the chief attorney for a corporation, who is pa ... e counsel." See also: house counsel
general damages :: n. monetary recovery (money won) in a lawsuit for ... s exemplary damages special damages
general denial :: n. a statement in an answer to a lawsuit or claim ... anguage. See also: answer complaint
general partner :: n. 1) usually one of the owners and operators of a ... ted partnership partner partnership
general plan :: n. a plan of a city, county or area which establis ... uture development. See also: zoning
generation skipping :: adj., adv. referring to gifts made through trusts ... to a grandchild without a gift tax.
gift :: n. the voluntary transfer of property (including m ... ift tax unified estate and gift tax
gift in contemplation of death :: n. (called a gift causa mortis by lawyers showing ... ift tax unified estate and gift tax
gift tax :: n. federal tax on large gifts. Gifts to members of ... ance in gift tax planning is vital.
go bail :: v. slang for putting up the bail money to get an a ... arrest or pending trial or appeal.
good cause :: n. a legally sufficient reason for a ruling or oth ... od cause shown, the court orders:."
good faith :: n. honest intent to act without taking an unfair a ... plied to all kinds of transactions.
Good Samaritan rule :: n. from a Biblical story, if a volunteer comes to ... a lawsuit for millions of dollars.
good title :: n. ownership of real property which is totally fre ... or deed of trust on the property).