Dower

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Dower'

A common law that entitles a widow to a portion of her husband's estate in absence of a will. The provision of dower allows the wife to provide for herself and any children born during the marriage. In most circumstances, the widow is granted up to one-third interest in her husband's assets.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Dower'

Dower provides a woman with increased financial security if their husbands die. In some states, a woman forfeits her right to dower if she becomes the guilty party in an annulment or divorce, usually caused by adultery. In modern times, inheritance rights are more prevalent, making dower laws obsolete.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Custodial Agreement

    An arrangement whereby one holds an asset or property on behalf ...
  2. Heir

    HeirA person who inherits some or all of the estate of another ...
  3. Inheritance

    All or part of a person's estate/assets that is given to an heir ...
  4. Curtesy

    A common law right of a husband to the estate and property of ...
  5. Will

    A legally enforceable declaration of how a person wishes his ...
  6. Estate

    All of the valuable things an individual owns, such as real estate, ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    The Tax Benefits Of Having A Spouse

    Check out the perks designed to promote and preserve your post-work savings - if you're married, that is.
  2. Retirement

    Bursting Boomers' Inheritance Dreams

    Waiting for a big payload from an aging relative? The chance of cashing in is lower than you think.
  3. Retirement

    Why You Should Draft A Will

    Don't trust the courts to follow your wishes - plan the distribution of your own assets.
  4. Options & Futures

    An Estate Planning Must: Update Your Beneficiaries

    Life changes make it time to rewrite your plan's designations.
  5. Retirement

    Refusing An Inheritance

    Contrary to popular belief, inheriting assets isn't always a good thing. Find out what to do if you want to disclaim them.
  6. Retirement

    Skipping-Out on Probate Costs

    Don't let bad estate planning lead to unnecessary costs and stress for your inheritors.
  7. Personal Finance

    5 Developed Countries That Welcome Expats

    Investigate these expat havens if you seek a developed country with low barriers for getting a permanent resident visa – sometimes even citizenship.
  8. Personal Finance

    5 Countries Where It's Hardest To Become A Citizen

    The United States is one of five countries that put up very high barriers for foreigners to get citizenship. Here's how it compares to the other four.
  9. Personal Finance

    How To Become A U.S. Citizen

    Depending on their parents, people not born in the U.S. either inherit U.S. citizenship or need to achieve it. Here are the steps to become an American.
  10. Retirement

    Power Of Attorney Form

    Be sure that any

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Weight Of Ice, Snow Or Sleet Insurance

    Financial protection against damage caused to property by winter weather specifically, damage caused if a roof caves in because ...
  2. Weather Insurance

    A type of protection against a financial loss that may be incurred because of rain, snow, storms, wind, fog, undesirable ...
  3. Portfolio Turnover

    A measure of how frequently assets within a fund are bought and sold by the managers. Portfolio turnover is calculated by ...
  4. Commercial Paper

    An unsecured, short-term debt instrument issued by a corporation, typically for the financing of accounts receivable, inventories ...
  5. Federal Funds Rate

    The interest rate at which a depository institution lends funds maintained at the Federal Reserve to another depository institution ...
  6. Fixed Asset

    A long-term tangible piece of property that a firm owns and uses in the production of its income and is not expected to be ...
Trading Center