A guardian can be either a person or an agency, who is appointed by the court to make decisions for an individual who is unable to make those decisions on his/her own (the "ward"). A guardian does not have to be a parent or a relative, although it can be.
- Guardianship of the person -an individual appointed to make decisions regarding the health, education, and welfare of a ward.
- Guardianship of the property -an individual appointed to make decisions about finances of a ward as directed by the judge.
- Guardianship of the person and property -an individual appointed to make decisions regarding health, education, welfare and finances.
- Guardian ad litem -an individual appointed by the court to act for the person during a court case when that individual cannot defend themselves or protect their own interests.