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Questions about Dower Rights

The law in the United States has tries to ensure support and comfort to the spouse if there is a death or divorce. Dower rights are among such provisions. There are a lot of nuances and details of individual situations that determine dower rights. A common person, unaware of these nuances can ask a Family Lawyer and get information about dower rights. Family Lawyers on JustAnswer can give you information about dower rights and any other family law related questions. Below are some of the top questions about dower rights that are asked on JustAnswer.

Dower Definition

A dower is the woman’s right to receive an income or some interest from her husband’s estate after the death of her husband. It was provided to support the wife in case of the husband’s death. The laws regarding release of dower could differ from state to state. Ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer for more specific information on dower rights and release of dower in your state.

Difference between Dower and Dowry

A dower is a woman’s right to marital property. It is her right to receive a part of the husband’s income or estate if he dies in the course of the marriage. Dowry however, is the woman’s property that she brings into the marriage when she gets married. The dowry law no longer exists in most of the states.

Does a Life Insurance Policy Qualify as an Asset for a Dower?

In most cases, the life insurance policy of a deceased spouse will not automatically qualify as an asset for dower rights. It gets transferred to the beneficiary named in the policy.

Are Dower Rights Valid in case of a Divorce?

Dower rights were created by the law to support the wife if she survived her husband after his death. They do not remain valid if there is a divorce or legal separation. The spouse usually loses all her dower rights if there is a divorce or legal separation.

Is the Release of Dower Document a Standalone Document?

Most states in the US do not permit the release of dower to be a standalone document. It must be in the form of a deed or a will to be valid. There could be exceptions to this rule if a married person is mentally disabled. In such a situation, the spouse can petition to the Circuit Court to declare the spouse as being mentally ill. The Court will then permit the waiver of dower by letting the guardian of the deceased spouse to sign on his behalf or will appoint a commissioner to do so. The document of dower will have to be presented along with the Circuit Court order if it has to be filed.

Family law can lead to many questions. Family Lawyers on JustAnswer frequently answer questions on a wide range of topics like marriage, child support, visitation, joint legal custody and more. Whether you are unsure of the provision of law, need a second opinion or a clarification, all you need to do is ask a Family Lawyer for quick and affordable answers.
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