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Definition: Guardianship, or conservatorship as it's called in some states, is the legal proceeding in a state court wherein a person, called the "Guardian," is appointed to exercise the legal rights of an incapacitated person, referred to as the "Ward." In addition, depending upon state law, a person under the age of 18 or 21, referred to as a "minor," will automatically be deemed to be incapable of managing his or her own personal and financial matters. Thus, in situations where a minor inherits property, a court-supervised guardianship or conservatorship will need to be established for the benefit of the minor until he or she reaches 18 or 21.

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