A person legally appointed to administer the property of another, who is unable to undertake its management himself
Curator (Lat. curare), a person legally appointed to administer the property of another, who is unable to undertake its management himself, owing to age or physical incompetence, bodily or mental. Curators are often confounded with tutors, but they differ in many respects. Tutors are appointed principally for the guardianship of persons, and only secondarily for the care of property; while curators are deputed mainly and sometimes solely for temporal concerns and only incidentally as guardians of persons. Besides, a tutor is appointed for minors, while a curator may have charge of incompetent persons of any age. Finally, a tutor cannot be commissioned for a particular or determined duty, though a curator may receive such an appointment. When the ward of a tutor has reached his majority, the tutor may become curator until the ward is twenty-five years of age, but he cannot be compelled to undertake such a charge. Curators, according to law, are to be constituted for those who are mentally weak, for prodigals, and those addicted inordinately to gambling. The administration of property cannot, however, be taken from a person merely because he lives luxuriously. Curators may also be appointed for captives, for the absent, and the deaf and dumb. A husband may not be constituted curator for his wife.
Before the curator enters upon the administration of property, he is obliged to give proper bond for his fidelity. Whatever salary he receives must be determined by a judge. If he did not demand a salary at the beginning of his administration, but later requests one, the judge is to fix the amount of such salary only for the future, not for the past. The obligation of a curator to render an account of his administration after the time of wardship has past constitutes an ecclesiastical impediment to entrance into the religious state until such obligation has been duly discharged. As regards the administration of property, curators are obliged to take such care of it as would a diligent parent. They are therefore to see that the rents are collected, that the yearly income be not lessened, that less useful goods be sold, and that money be not allowed to lie idle. In case the property of the ward suffer by the administration of the curator, the latter is obliged in conscience to make restitution, if the deterioration was caused by culpable negligence on his part.
WILLIAM H. W. FANNING