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Guardian in United Kingdom

Definition of Guardian

In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Guardian :

One who is formally appointed to look after a child’s interests when the parents of the child do not have *parental responsibility for him or have died. Appointment can be made either by the courts during *family proceedings, if it is considered necessary for the child’s welfare, or privately by any parent with parental responsibility. Under the Children Act 1989 a private appointment does not have to be by deed or will but merely made in writing, dated, and signed by the person making it. A guardian automatically assumes parental responsibility for the child.

Concept of Guardian

The following is an old definition of Guardian [1], a term which has several meanings:1. A keeper,- protector, conservator; a warden. Guardian of the peace. A person charged with the duty of securing or protecting the public peac?; a conservator of the peace. See Peace, 1. Guardian of the poor. A person specially elected or appointed to administer the poor-laws. See Poor

Alternative Meaning

One that legally has the care and management of the person or the estate, or both, during his minority, of a child whose father has died. Correlative, ward. The authorized agent, appointed by law, to take ,care of the ward’s estate and manage his affairs. Domestic guardian. A guardian appointed at the place of the infant’s domicil. Foreign guardian. A guardian appointed under the law of another State than that of the infant’s domicil.Their rights and powers are local. By comity only is anything conceded in another State to the claims of the guardian of the domicil. It is usual, however, to appoint in a foreign State the guardian of the domiciliary court. Guardian ad litem. A person appointed by a court to look after the interests of an infant when his property is involved in litigation. He manages the defense of an infant defendant, where there is no parent, or other guardian. The power of appointing such a guardian is incident to every court. He is a species of attorney, whose duty is to prosecute for the infant’s rights, and to bring those rights directly under the notice of the court. He can do nothing to the injury of the infant. His duty ends when the suit ends, when it is prosecuted to final judgment. Since he may be required to pay the costs of the action, a person cannot be compelled to serve against his consent. Anciently the custom was to appoint an officer of the court. He may have reimbursement for costs and expenses out of the infant’s, estate. See Friend, Next. General guardian. A guardian who has general charge of the person and property of a fatherless minor. Special guardian. A guardian charged with the management of some particular interest; as, a guardian ad litem, or a guardian of the estate or of the person only. Guardian of the estate. A guardian who has been lawfully invested with the power of taking care and managing the estate of an infant. Guardian of the person. A guardian lawfully invested with the care of an infant, whose father is dead. At common law, a general guardian performs the office of tutor of the person and curator of the estate as distinguished in the Roman law. Statute or statutory guardian. A guardian appointed by last will; also, a guardian appointed by a court in pursuance of a statute.Testamentary guardian. A person named for the ofllce of guardian in the will of the father of the minor. Instituted by Statute 12 Charles II (1660), c. 24. Cruardian by chancery. A guardian appointed by a court of equity or of probate. Guardian in chivalry. The lord of the heir of a tenant in capite, and of body and lands, with no duty to account for profits. Guardian by common law, or in socage. Where a minor was entitled to an estate in lands, his next of kin, to whom the estate could not descend, became such guardian until the minor attained fourteen. Guardian by nature. The father, and, after his decease, the mother. Has charge of person and estate, and is controlled by a court of equity or probate. Guardian for nurture. Either of the parents till the child is fourteen, but relates to the care of the person solely. Guardian ad interim or interim. Serves while another guardian is out of the jurisdiction. In general, guardians exist either by nature or by appointment of a court. At common law, a person became such by relation to the minor, without judicial appointment. In the province of York, on failure of the father to name a guardian by will, the ordinary made the appointment. The power to appoint and to pass upon accounts has been generally conferred by statutes upon the probate courts. At fourteen, the child may choose a guardian. A guardian is a temporary parent. The lord chancellor is the general guardian of all infants in England; in the States, the court of probate is the general guardian, the nominal guardian being but an agent or officer of the court. The reciprocal duties of the persons depend upon the nature of the guardianship. A guardian of the person has a right to the obedience of the ward, but not to his services; and owes the ward protection, but not support. The guardian of the estate is to support and educate the ward in a manner suited to the ward’s station in life. Ordinary skill, prudence, and caution are all that are required of a guardian. Many of his duties are regulated by statute. He may lease the ward’s realty; and he receives the rents and profits thereof. He may sell personalty without an order of court, but not realty; nor may he so convert personalty into realty. If he uses money, or neglects to invest it for an unreasonable period, he is chargeable with Interest; and if he trades with the money, the ward may demand the principal with either interest or the profits. He is liable for waste as to realty, and for negligence as to personalty. He cannot waive the ward’s rights. The relation ceases at twenty-one. As to the person of a female ward, ceases with marriage to a minor; and as to both person and estate, upon marriage to an adult. Continues, as to his estate, after the marriage of a male ward. But neither may marry without the consent of the guardian. The court will remove a guardian for misconduct; may require a change in his sureties; may compel him to file an account; may appoint an interim guardian; will regulate the maintenance and education (see, in this resource, the term) of the ward; and may even control the actions of a testamentary guardian. After the ward becomes of age the guardian is bound to exercise proper care of his property until he has duly accounted for it, and delivered up possession. See Committee; Curator; Discharge; Invest; Tutor; Ward, 3; Witness.


Notes and References

  1. Meaning of Guardian provided by the Anderson Dictionary of Law (1889) (Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims and an Exposition of the Principles of Law: Comprising a Dictionary and Compendium of American and English Jurisprudence; William C. Anderson; T. H. Flood and Company, Law Publishers, Chicago, United States)

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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Guardian
  • Author: Agostino Von Hassell
  • Description: Definition of Guardian In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Guardian : One who is [...]

This entry was last updated: March 25, 2017


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