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The Right Of Dower

Dower is one-third of the husband's estate, and in general cannot be

destroyed by the mere act of the husband. Hence, in the sale of real

estate by the husband, his wife must, with the husband, sign the

conveyance to make the title complete to the purchaser. In the absence

of such signature, the widow can claim full dower rights after the

husband's death. Creditors, also, seize the property subject to such

dower rights

The husband in his will sometimes gives his wife property in lieu of

dowry. In this case, she may, after his death, elect to take either such

property or her dower; but she cannot take both. While the husband lives

the wife's right of dower in only inchoate; it cannot be enforced.

Should he sell the land to a stranger, she has no right of action or

remedy until his death.

In all cases the law of the State in which the land is situated governs

it, and, as in the case of heirship, full information must be sought for

in statute which is applicable.