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.

BREAKING DOWN '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. Taxes

    Top Reasons to File Separately When Married

    Most of the time, it makes sense for couples to file their taxes jointly. Except for these possible exceptions...
  8. Personal Finance

    Millennials Guide: Before You Move in with Your Partner

    Living together can be romantic. But at what point does co-habitation become a common-law marriage? It's wise to know the legalities of your relationship.
  9. Credit & Loans

    Joint Credit Cards: The Pros and Cons

    A joint credit card may sound like an easy way to split the bills, but make sure you know what you’re getting into first.
  10. Professionals

    How Advisors Can Help Expectant Couples

    Bringing a child into the world makes parents more acutely aware of their finances. Here's how advisors can help expectant couples prepare.
RELATED FAQS
  1. When am I considered "married" for tax purposes?

    You are generally considered married for tax purposes as long as you were married as of the last day of the year, regardless ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Does marrying someone with bad credit affect my credit score?

    A credit rating is an assessment of an individual's creditworthiness. This evaluation is based on an individual's history ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Recession

    A significant decline in activity across the economy, lasting longer than a few months. It is visible in industrial production, ...
  2. Bubble Theory

    A school of thought that believes that the prices of assets can temporarily rise far above their true values and that these ...
  3. Stock Market Crash

    A rapid and often unanticipated drop in stock prices. A stock market crash can be the result of major catastrophic events, ...
  4. Financial Crisis

    A situation in which the value of financial institutions or assets drops rapidly. A financial crisis is often associated ...
  5. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
  6. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!