<--Back to Wiki Home
"Curtesy" is an old legal term that basically means that if a man's wife died, he would have the right to inherit some of her property, even if she had a will that said something else. This is different from "dower," which was a similar right that women had to inherit some of their husband's property after he died.
For example, let's say that Bob and his wife Jane own a house together. If Jane were to pass away, Bob would have the right of curtesy to inherit some of her interest in the house. This would depend on the laws of their state and the specifics of their situation, but generally speaking, Bob would have some claim to Jane's property.
"A Deep Dive for Real Estate Agents"
Note: The concepts of dower and curtesy are now largely outdated and have been replaced by modern laws that provide for more gender-neutral inheritance and property rights. Most states have abolished these ancient doctrines or have replaced them with new statutes that provide equal property rights to both spouses in the event of death or divorce. However, some states still recognize the common law right of dower and curtesy, or have modified versions of them in their state laws. Overall, while these terms may still be used in legal contexts, they are not commonly encountered in modern real estate transactions.
"Wit & Whimsy with the Dumb Ox: Unlocking Knowledge with Rhyme:"
Oh curtesy, curtesy, what a funny word,
It means when a man's wife dies, some inheritance he's heard.
He might get some property, even if she had a plan,
To give it to someone else, like a daughter or a man.
But don't confuse it with dower, another olden rule,
That's when a woman gets some of her husband's jewels.
It's all about inheritance, and who gets what when,
And how the law protects us, again and again!