If you have been reading this blog or browsing the David A. Shapiro website, then you should be aware by now the definition of what a guardian is and the duties required to protect their ward. However, you may have come across another legal term called a 'guardian ad litem.' When a guardian ad litem is appointed by the court, it means they are only appointed for the duration of a lawsuit or other legal proceedings. Once litigation is over, so are their duties.
In most cases, the ward will be a minor child or a person with a disability that is incapable of understanding what is happening during the litigation. But a guardian ad litem may also be appointed in cases that are dealing with an elderly adult that may have be suffering from Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.
The guardian ad litem differs from a normal guardian in that they do not have custody or need to take care of the ward. They simply work with the court to help determine what is in the best interest of the ward. Such as making sure that they are not taken advantage of by other beneficiaries in matters pertaining to inheritance or will contests.
For more information on guardianships in the Los Angeles area please contact a professional attorney at the Law Offices of David A. Shapiro.
*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be constituted as professional legal advice.