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Guardianship Arrangement

Short Description

A Guardianship Arrangement is the specification of a set of rights and duties between legal entities of the jurisdiction that enforces these rights and duties, for the purpose of caring for and/or protecting/guarding/defending one or more of these entities. The entity that is being cared for may generically be referred to as the dependent under the guardianship arrangement. The entities that exercise the rights and duties for the actual caring of the dependent are generically referred to as guardians.

The rules that govern the creation, updating and deletion of guardianship arrangements belong to the legal system of a specific jurisdiction. This jurisdiction also defines the guardianship type that an arrangement is an instance (example) of, i.e. the roles of the dependent and guardians. In the end, the meaning (effectiveness, impact) that a guardianship arrangement has depends on jurisdiction, i.e. on the way the specified rights and duties can be enforced, and disputes settled. Note that this implies that all entities mentioned in a guardianship arrangement must be legal entities of that jurisdiction.

The Guardianship pattern provides an overview of how this concept fits in with related concepts. The Jurisdiction pattern provides backgrounds on jurisdictions and how they function.


Guardianship Arrangement is a means that a jurisdiction can use to realize its objectives that pertain to the caring for, protecting, guarding, defending of entities that it finds to be in need thereof. The legal system of the jurisdiction specifies guardianship types, sets of rights and duties of guardians and dependents, etc., all of which are enforced by the jurisdiction by the extent it finds appropriate.


A Guardianship Arrangement (in a jurisdiction) is an assembly of

  1. a collection of legal entities within that jurisdiction, that have been assigned a (stakeholder-)role that are typically defined in the guardianship type that is defined by that jurisdiction and of which the arrangement is an instance;
  2. a collection of duties and rights that are assigned to these legal entities, which they can enforce within the scope of that jurisdiction;


  • dependents need not always be people that are somehow very needy. The manager of a department in a company may be tasked to care for the wellbeing of the workers in his department, which doesn't require such workers to be incapable of doing that for themselves.
  • dependents need not always be people. Enterprises can have curators that care for an enterprise that has trouble to continue its existence. A historical heritage site might also become a dependent in a specific kind of guardianship type. Even some kinds of ownership may qualify as a guardianship, which is the case when the rights and duties that the owner has to enjoy, dispose of, and control the (owned) entity also serve to care for, or defend that entity.
  • We may use the phrase natural guardianship to refer to a 'guardianship arrangement' that exists in the jurisdiction 'Nature' (see the notes of jurisdiction). This enables us to talk about things as 'the (natural) guardianship of an assertion'.