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operation of law

n. a change or transfer which occurs automatically due to existing laws and not an agreement or court order. Examples: a joint tenant obtains full title to real property when the other joint tenant dies; a spouse in a community property state will take title to all community property if the spouse dies without a will that leaves some of the dead mate's interest in the community property to another; or a guardianship of a minor ad litem (for purposes of a lawsuit) ends automatically upon the child turning 18.


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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications