Guardianship Law

A Guardian is a person who has the legal right or authority to take care of the personal or property interest of another person, generally called the ward. An individual gets the status of a guardian when the ward is not able to care for his/her interests due to infancy, incapacity or disability. In most countries, the laws state that the legal guardians of a minor child are his/her parents. The parents have the right to decide who will become the legal guardian of their child in the event of their death.

In special cases, the Courts have the power to appoint a guardian, for an individual who needs special protection. A General guardian is the one who has the responsibility for both the personal well-being and the financial interests of the ward. A Special Guardian is a person with limited powers over the interests of the ward. A Special Guardian may be given the authority to decide the adjustment of the ward’s property without being given any control over the ward’s person. The case where the guardian is appointed to represent the interests of a person with respect to one litigation is a Guardian ad litem. Gaurdian ad litem are generally appointed in divorce cases in favor of the minor child. It is also appointed in the case of neglect, dependency or abuse.


Some jurisdiction let a child’s parent to exercise the authority of a legal guardian without a formal appointment of the court. In such cases, the parent acting in that capacity is called the Natural Guardian of the parent’s child.


A guardian may also appointed for an unknown or unallocated heirs to an estate.


A Guardian is the trusted person on whom the property of the ward in entrusted. A Guardian should exercise a high standard of care for the property of the ward. In case a substantial property of the ward is under the care of the guardian, a surety bond needs to be signed to protect the ward in case of the guardian’s incompetence or dishonesty.

A Guardian is also called the Conservator or Custodian.