July 28, 2015
Authored by: Luke Lantta
Guardians ad litem serve an important purpose. They are officers of the court appointed to look after the interests of those who cannot look after their own interests, such as minors or the incapacitated. Though they may be lawyers, they are not the lawyers for their wards. This distinction is meaningful.
In trust and estate disputes, a non-litigating estate planning lawyer often gets appointed as guardian ad litem for minor beneficiaries or the unborn, unknown descendants. That guardian ad litem also often makes a written report to the court. Those who have experienced them know that trust and estate disputes can be incredibly contentious. Is that guardian ad litem – who may have spent a career trying to avoid being in a courtroom – ready to get put on the witness stand?
Many guardians ad litem may say, “wait, I didn’t sign up to be