A legal guardian is a person who has been appointed by a court or otherwise has the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to care for the personal and property interests of another person, called a ward. Guardians are typically used in four situations: guardianship for an incapacitated senior (due to old age or infirmity), guardianship for a minor, and guardianship for developmentally disabled adults and for adults found to be incompetent. A parent of a child is normally not considered a guardian, though the responsibilities may be similar. A family member is most commonly appointed guardian, though a professional guardian or public trustee may be appointed if a suitable family member is not available.
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