Dower rights are claimed after a husband dies. The widow is entitled to a portion of the property assets for the rest of her life. Dower rights in Michigan only apply to property that is purchased during the marriage, and they are only awarded to the wife, not the husband. Dower laws often come into play after a husband dies.
The Michigan Constitution of 1963 was enacted and curtesy ended. Until this month’s legislation, Michigan was the only state that still granted dower rights exclusively to women. Recent mentions of dower in the law. Many thought the concept of dower was on its way out of the law in recent months.
Before the Act went into effect, Michigan was one of the last states to recognize dower rights. Among the reasons that the legislature acted now, after other unsuccessful attempts to repeal dower rights, were complications related to the application of dower rights in the context of same-sex marriage.
Since dower only applied & benefited a woman married to a man. The conflicts and inconsistencies for dower rights that were created by the mandated recognition of same sex marriage ultimately motivated the Michigan legislature to pass the package of bills to abolish dower rights.
As a result of such dower rights, a wife has been required to sign any deed, mortgage or other document to transfer an interest in her husband's property to another, which would release her dower rights and give the transferee good title to the property. The Michigan legislature recently voted to abolish dower rights in Public Act 489 of 2016.
Same-Sex Marriage and Michigan Dower Rights. Michigan statute and case law regarding dower rights were written in such a way that it was clear that they would not apply to same-sex marriage. A group of Michigan legislators attempted without success to develop some gender-neutral form of property interest.
Michigan Law has been brought into modern times through the abolishment of dower rights. Prior to this change in Law, Michigan was the only state which preserved dower for the benefit of women only. Briefly stated, dower was a specific distribution that a widow could elect as her share of her deceased spouse’s estate.
Does this Dower Rights law exist? Answer: Dower rights have long been provided to women by Michigan Law. If your husband buys property while married, you as his wife would have dower rights to it. Generally, a husband cannot sell property without his wife's signature because of the wife's dower rights in the property.
1 Once universally accepted under common law, a widow’s dower rights are now only preserved in a handful of states.1 Even in those states, widowers have generally been granted a reciprocal right in their wives’ property.2 Michigan is currently the only state which provides dower rights exclusively to women.3 Michigan’s dower law has thus far survived challenges in
558.12 Alternative dower rights before assignment; occupation, profits and rents receipts. Sec. 12. When a widow is entitled to dower in the lands of which her husband died seized, she may continue to occupy the same with the children or other heirs of the deceased, or may receive 1/3 part of the