Dower Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Dower, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Dower?

n. The widow’s common law right to one-third of her late husband’s estate. This old English common law is still law in a few states. A widow’s election enables her to choose whether to accept the dower rights or the terms of her husband’s will. A husband’s corresponding right is to the wife’s entire estate and if children are living, then to the life estate in everything.