Curtesy Interest

Updated: 09 June 2023

What Does Curtesy Interest Mean?

Curtesy interest refers to a husband's right to his deceased wife's property. Most states have abolished this interest along with its female counterpart, the dower. They have been replaced by other laws, such as the law of descent and distribution.

Insuranceopedia Explains Curtesy Interest

Curtesy interest only applied to properties acquired during the marriage. There are variations depending on the states that still practice the curtesy and dower laws. For instance, divorce or adultery may bar a person from having a right over any property from their spouse's estate.

Most states no longer have this legal interest and distribute the deceased's property according to more modern legislation.

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