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Definition: Guardian's Account
by: Ken Golliher, BOL Guru

Question: Please give a definition of a guardian's account. Whose money is in the account - guardian's or child's? If there is a judgment against the parent can a restraining order be placed on the guardian's account?

Answer: A guardian is a court appointed fiduciary. He or she is instructed by the court to handle the affairs and monies of a person who is legally disabled. Generally, the disability relates to age, or physical or mental incapacity. The court supervises the guardian's receipts and disbursements of funds by requiring the guardian to file periodic reports.

If a bank account is opened "Jane Doe by Alexis Doe, Guardian" it is assumed that Alexis provided the bank with a recently certified copy of a court order naming her as guardian.

The money in the account belongs to Jane (the person under a disability) and Jane's SSN is used for information reporting. The account does not belong to Alexis and could not be used to satisfy her debts.

State law varies on the specifics of guardianships, but these concepts are generally consistent from state to state.

First published on 2/4/02

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