Dower Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Dower.

Dower (noun): This term refers to a traditional common law right granted to a widow, enabling her to claim one-third of her deceased husband's estate. This law, originating from old English common law, is still in effect in some states. This right affords a widow the choice to either accept these "dower rights" or adhere to the terms outlined in her husband's will. A comparable right exists for a husband in relation to his wife's estate.