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Dower – is this really still the law in Michigan?

By Michigan statute, the widow of every deceased person, shall be entitled to dower, or the use during her natural life, of 1/3 part of all the lands whereof her husband was seized of an estate of inheritance, at any time during the marriage, unless she is lawfully barred thereof.

This statute appears to have first been made law in 1846. Interestingly, a wife is able to convey title to real estate titled in her name without her husband joining in the deed because a husband has no dower interest in his wife’s real estate.

Thus, until the legislature eliminates this statute, a husband in Michigan is unable to convey title to real estate free of his wife’s dower interest without his wife either joining in signing the deed or waiving her dower rights by way a recorded waiver.

Categories: Real Estate Law


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