A guardianship is a legal arrangement that is required to see to all of the personal and business affairs of a person who is deemed unable to care for these affairs on their own. Most people associate a guardianship with a child, but the scope of who can benefit from a guardianship is not limited by age. While there are several complex elements to every guardianship arrangement, it is relatively easy to understand the basics of a guardianship relationship.

What Is A Guardian?

A guardian is someone either appointed or approved by the courts to take care of all legal aspects of a person's life such as habitation, medical care, and financial arrangements. The guardian assumes all responsibility for each decision they make on behalf of their constituent, and the guardian also assumes all penalties that may result from their decisions.

Who Needs A Guardian?

A person who utilizes a guardian is called a protected person. A protected person is anyone who is considered by the court to be unable to make important decisions on their own. Some of the reasons for requiring a guardian include the age of the protected person, their mental state, their physical condition, and their emotional health.

The Different Types Of Guardianship Arrangements

Full Guardianship - A full guardian is placed in charge of all of the protected person's legal, financial, and personal affairs. The full guardian can either be a single individual, a group, or a legal entity of some kind.

Limited Guardianship - If it is determined that the protected person only needs help with their financial affairs, then a limited guardian would be assigned to handle those types of transactions. The limited guardian can only make decisions in the areas where they have been given authority.

Temporary Guardianship - In some cases, the court may determine that a guardian is only need for a limited period. For example, when a person goes into a coma, then the courts may assign a temporary guardian if no other arrangements have been made to protect the person's interests. Once the guardianship period is over, the guardian no longer has legal authority to make decisions for the protected person.

Joint Guardianship - When it is determined that a protected person requires the assistance of more than one guardian, then joint guardianship will be assigned to two or more people.

What Is The Liability Level For A Guardian?

A guardian is not held personally responsible for actions taken by a protected person that do not involve the guardian's responsibilities. For example, a guardian would not be held responsible if their protected person broke an expensive picture window. A guardian is not required to use their own funds to care for the protected person, unless the guardian has agreed to fund the protected person in the guardianship agreement.

The guardian is required to take all reasonable steps to insure the health and safety of the protect person. The guardian is also expected to make reasonable decisions on behalf of the protected person, which means that the guardian can be found negligent for making improper decisions on behalf of the protected person.

A guardianship arrangement is a tremendous responsibility that affects the lives of many people. When making a guardianship decision, the courts require a great deal of information and work hard to make the best decision possible on behalf of the protected person.


It seems like more and more people are deciding to start their own businesses these days for a variety of reasons. When the economy collapsed in 2008, some people who had lost their jobs decided to start their own businesses rather than risk being laid off in the future by another company.

There is a great deal of responsibility that goes along with starting your own business, and your first decision is just as important as every decision you will make throughout the history of your business. That first decision you will make will be on the legal form your business will take, and it is a decision that must be made by consulting an attorney.

Sole Proprietorship

You can open a sole proprietorship using your own name, or you can file a "doing business as" certificate to call your business something else. Your local county or city government may require you to get a business certificate to get started, but that is the only real paperwork constraints on a sole proprietorship.

A sole proprietorship is the cheapest and easiest form of business to utilize, but it also offers the least amount of protection to your personal assets. If someone decides to sue your company, you could lose all of your personal assets in the lawsuit. A sole proprietorship allows you to run your business, but it does not protect your personal property and finances from potential legal action.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

The rapidly growing popularity of LLCs can be seen in the ways in which laws are being changed to make it easier for people to utilize this business format. In the past, there had to be at least two business owners to be able to start an LLC, but now individuals can utilize an LLC as well. The LLC format is very flexible, and it allows you to have partners and business owners from anywhere in the world.

Filing for an LLC can be expensive, but it offers protection you do not get from a sole proprietorship. An LLC is its own entity, which means that any lawsuits brought against the LLC do not affect the personal assets of the owners.


Corporations are the most expensive and complicated types of businesses to form, but they can offer operational and tax benefits that make them practical to use. There are two primary forms of corporations that are referred to as C and S corporations, but both are very different in many ways.

An experienced business attorney can explain the main differences between the two forms of corporations, and give you advice on which corporation format is best for your business. A corporation involves several annual tax filings, a mandatory board of directors, and several other procedural elements that need to be considered before you make your final decision.

The very first decision you will make regarding your business is one of the most important ones. If your business is not the right legal format, then you may find it difficult to grow in the future, and you will be leaving yourself open to personal financial damage. Consult with an experienced attorney to determine which legal format is best for you business, and develop a plan for getting your business off the ground.

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