The Latin translation of ad litem is "for the suit."
- A guardian ad litem is a guardian (usually a lawyer) appointed by the court to manage the affairs of the ward as they relate to a proceeding or particular aspect of litigation, as opposed to a guardian, who would have all legal responsibilities.
- An attorney ad litem is a court-appointed lawyer who represents a child during a legal action, such as a divorce, termination, or child-abuse case.
- The attorney owes to the child the duties of loyalty, confidentiality, and competent representation.
- An administrator ad litem is appointed by the court of probate to represent an estate during a lawsuit when an estate of a deceased person must be represented.
- An administrator ad litem is appointed only if there is no existing executor or administrator of the estate, or if the executor or administrator has conflicting interests.
[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]