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: one who has or is entitled or legally appointed to the care and management of the person or property of another compare committee, conservator, curator, receiver, tutor
guardian ad li·tem
[-ad-lī-təm, -Ä d-lē-tem]
: a guardian appointed by a court to represent in a particular lawsuit the interests of a minor, a person not yet born, or a person judged incompetent
guardian by nature
: natural guardian in this entry
: a guardian by natural relationship having custody of the person but not the property of a minor NOTE: Under common law the father is considered the natural guardian of a child until his death or incapacitation, whereupon the mother becomes the natural guardian. Many states have passed statutes giving both parents equal rights as guardians.
: a guardian appointed by statutory authority
: a person named in a will to serve as a guardian
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.