What are Dower Rights?

Dower rights date back to 1800s when they were created and a lot more common to see. Initially, they were created to protect widows after they husbands passed away, by ensuring they have some interest in the real estate property owned by the husband. Since then, the rights were expanded to protect wives and husbands.

Ohio, along with Arkansas and Kentucky are the only three states left today that still retain dower rights. Dower right is an interest in real estate of a spouse, so when he or she becomes a widow, he or she is entitled to at least one-third interest in the real estate. Therefore, when a married man or woman wants to transfer his or her interest in a property they own, in Ohio, a signature of their spouse is required, which signs away his or her dower rights.

Ohio Revised Code Section 2103 describes the state’s laws pertaining to dower rights. Four ways to terminate dower rights include, death of the individual entitled to dower rights, dissolution of marriage, release of dower rights by a spouse signing a release to give it up, or if an individual commits adultery, they may automatically lose their dower right.

It is crucial to ensure that any transfer of property is done correctly to ensure clean title. If you are in need of assistance with a transfer of property, contact an attorney at Sobon Law LLC at 216-586-4246, to assist you in the process.

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