DEFINITION of 'Guardian'

An individual who has been given the legal responsibility to care for a child or adult who does not have the capacity for self care. The appointed individual is often responsible for both the care of the ward (the child or incapable adult) and that person's affairs.

Also referred to as a "conservator" when referring to an adult in need of care.


The guardian is usually either named or appointed in a will or in a court of law by a judge. A parent will often name a guardian to his or her children in the event of the parent's death or inability to provide for the children.

  1. Guardian IRA

    An IRA held in the name of a legal guardian or parent on behalf ...
  2. IRS Publication 503: Child And ...

    IRS Publication 503 is a document published every year by the ...
  3. Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance

    Long-term care insurance coverage provides for the care of people ...
  4. Child Support

    The monetary payments that are made from one ex-spouse to another ...
  5. Custodial Care

    Custodial care is non-medical care recommended by a medical professional ...
  6. Child Tax Credit

    The child tax credit is a credit given to taxpayers for each ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    5 Ways To Save On Child Care Costs

    Child care costs can be a shock to new and expecting parents, but are some programs in place to help with the first few years.
  2. Personal Finance

    Opening Your Child's First Bank Account

    Teach your children to save up to meet their spending - and saving - goals.
  3. Taxes

    How to File Your Child's First Income Tax Return

    Use this quick parental guide to help your child learn the tax-filing process and establish good habits.
  4. Personal Finance

    Is There ROI When Millennials Live at Home?

    If you love your adult kids and enjoy the time with them, don’t worry that you’re spending too much money on them. Your return on investment is worth it.
  5. Financial Advisor

    How to Protect Retirement and Help Adult Kids

    Parents can both protect their retirement money and help their adult kids. Here's how.
  6. Insurance

    Long-Term Care Insurance: What You Need to Know

    Planning ahead for long-term care costs should be part of a financial plan.
  7. Personal Finance

    Critical Documents for the College Bound

    In addition to the normal college student supplies, consider getting these documents as well.
  8. Retirement

    Help Your Kids Start a Retirement Savings Plan

    It's never too early to save for the future - learn how your children can get started.
  9. Insurance

    What Will Your Long-Term Care Look Like?

    As much as we don't want to talk about it, it's important to have a long-term care plan.
  10. Trading

    How To Teach Your Child About Investing

    Find simple and easy instructions on how to introduce your kids to the stock market.
  1. Are Social Security survivor benefits for children considered taxable income?

    Learn why receiving Social Security survivor benefits on behalf of children does not affect income tax for a surviving parent ... Read Answer >>
  2. Can someone who is not yet of legal age open a brokerage account?

    An underage person may have a brokerage account with his or her own name attached to it, but a parent or guardian must be ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center