dower

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Dower

In wills and estates, a percentage of a husband's assets to which a widow is entitled, regardless of how much she is given in her husband's will. Thus, a husband may will her more than the dower, but not less. The amount of the dower varies, and few jurisdictions still have laws requiring one.

dower

A widow's portion of her husband's assets that were acquired during the course of their marriage. The dower, usually amounting to one third, applies even if the deceased husband wills her a portion less than this. Compare curtesy.

dower

A widow's rights in the real property of her deceased husband. The similar right of a widower in his deceased wife's property is called curtesy. Many states have abolished these rights and replaced them with a more generic homestead right or surviving spouse's share.

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Virginia granted a widow dower rights in real and personal property.
existed if a widow sought dower rights in land that had been conveyed by
leading nineteenth century treatise on dower noted, however, many judges
widows to remain in their homes until the assignment of dower.
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colonial Virginia left their wives more than their dower rights, see
discussing wills leaving women more than their dower rights in colonial
Connecticut's dower law was an exception to the general
rule that dower attached to all lands that a husband owned during the
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