—guardianless, adj./gahr"dee euhn/, n.1. a person who guards, protects, or preserves.2. Law. a person who is entrusted by law with the care of the person or property, or both, of another, as a minor or someone legally incapable of managing his or her own affairs.3. the superior of a Franciscan convent.adj.4. guarding; protecting: a guardian deity.[1375-1425; late ME gardein < AF. See WARDEN]Syn. 1. protector, defender.Pronunciation. GUARDIAN is occasionally pronounced with two syllables and with stress on the final syllable: /gahr deen"/. This pronunciation is now most characteristic of older, less educated speakers.
* * *In law, one who has, or is legally appointed to, the care and management of another, usually a minor.A natural guardian is a guardian by natural relationship (usually the father or mother). A guardian may be appointed by the court when it decides that a child needs one (usually when the parents have died or disappeared).
* * *person legally entrusted with supervision of another who is ineligible to manage his own affairs—usually a child. Guardians fulfill the state's role as substitute parent. Those for whom guardianships are established are called wards. Guardianships for others than children are usually established by courts for the property or persons of the insane or those otherwise incapable of handling their own affairs.Guardianships appeared in ancient Rome under the inheritance laws. English law first codified organized guardianship practices in the 13th century. On the European continent, guardianships appeared at the end of the Middle Ages and followed the Roman model. Modern French and German civil codes have tied guardianships closely to family considerations, giving relatives strong preferential rights of appointment. Most European countries have public agencies for the administration of guardianships, while in the United States that task belongs to the courts.The guardian's powers and responsibilities are created by statutes and the courts. He is an officer of the court appointing him. The guardian may be given authority over some particular aspect of the ward's affairs or, more commonly, over all of his affairs generally.Once a court decides that a child needs a guardian (usually when the parents have died or disappeared), it carefully screens potential appointees. The court considers the financial status and character of the potential guardian; possible conflicts of interest; the ward's wishes; and the religious affiliations of the deceased parents. The paramount consideration is the welfare of the child. Thus, the court can revoke a guardian's authority if he appears to be acting against the ward's best interests.
* * *