A guardian is an adult that is given the legal right to care for a child should the child's parents die or become unable to do so. A guardian accepts all legal responsibilities for supporting and educating the child and is accountable to the courts for the child's well-being and financial best interests. Guardians are the adults that schools, hospitals, and other authority figures consult when decisions concerning the child need to be made. Guardians can be family members, friends, or foster parents. Parents are encouraged to name a guardian in their will because, although such instructions are not legally binding, they will be taken into account as the court decides what is best for the child. Guardianships can also be established when adults become disabled or can no longer care for themselves. For a further definition of guardianship, consult an attorney in your area.