dower and curtesy
A surviving spouse's right to receive a set portion of the deceased spouse's estate — usually one-third to one-half. Dower (not to be confused with a dowry) refers to the portion to which a surviving wife is entitled, while curtesy refers to what a man may claim. Until recently, these amounts differed in a number of states. However, because discrimination on the basis of sex is now illegal in most cases, most states have abolished dower and curtesy and generally provide the same benefits regardless of sex — and this amount is often known simply as the statutory share. Under certain circumstances, a living spouse may not be able to sell or convey property that is subject to the other spouses dower and curtesy or statutory share rights.
Category: Wills, Trusts & Estates

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • dower — dow·er / dau̇ ər/ n [Anglo French, from Old French douaire, modification of Medieval Latin dotarium, from Latin dot dos gift, dowry]: the life estate in a man s real property to which his wife is entitled upon his death under common law and some… …   Law dictionary

  • curtesy — cur·te·sy / kər tə sē/ n pl sies [Anglo French curteisie, literally, favor, courtesy, originally in the phrase par la corteysie de Engleterre (tenancy) by courtesy of (the law of) England (as opposed to natural right)]: a husband s interest at… …   Law dictionary

  • Dower — Relationships Types …   Wikipedia

  • Curtesy tenure — Not to be confused with Curtsey. This article is about the legal doctrine of curtesy. For the concept of courtesy, please see the article on etiquette. Note that the content of this article, taken from a 1911 encyclopedia, is probably now out of… …   Wikipedia

  • curtesy — /kartasiy/ The estate to which by common law a man is entitled, on the death of his wife, in the lands or tenements of which she was seised in possession in fee simple or in tail during her coverture, provided they have had lawful issue born… …   Black's law dictionary

  • curtesy — /kartasiy/ The estate to which by common law a man is entitled, on the death of his wife, in the lands or tenements of which she was seised in possession in fee simple or in tail during her coverture, provided they have had lawful issue born… …   Black's law dictionary

  • dower — The provision which the law makes for a widow out of the lands or tenements of her husband, for her support and the nurture of her children. 2 Bl.Comm. 130; In re Miller s Estate, 44 N.M. 214, 100 P.2d 908, 911. A species of life estate which a… …   Black's law dictionary

  • dower — The provision which the law makes for a widow out of the lands or tenements of her husband, for her support and the nurture of her children. 2 Bl.Comm. 130; In re Miller s Estate, 44 N.M. 214, 100 P.2d 908, 911. A species of life estate which a… …   Black's law dictionary

  • inheritance — /in her i teuhns/, n. 1. something that is or may be inherited; property passing at the owner s death to the heir or those entitled to succeed; legacy. 2. the genetic characters transmitted from parent to offspring, taken collectively. 3.… …   Universalium

  • History of English land law — Material here has been extracted from the 1911 Britannica encyclopedia. The history of English land law derives from a mixture of Roman, Norman and modern legislative sources.OutlineSuch terms as fee or homage carry us back into feudal times.… …   Wikipedia

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