Dower is the estate for life which is given by law to a wife upon her husband's death, in all real property owned by him at any time during marriage. The requisites for the establishment of the estate are:
1. A valid marriage.
2. Ownership in husband.
3. Death of husband.
The interest of the wife attaches to the real property even during her husband's lifetime and cannot be cut off without her consent. This consent, when given, is usually by a deed from the wife, or by her joining in the deed with her husband, when he sells the real property. It must not be forgotten, however, that the husband having once owned real property during the marriage, no act of his can dispose of his wife's right of dower. His deed or will attempting to do so is entirely ineffectual. All that he could give would be his own interest in the property, his wife's dower right still attaching. She cannot release her dower right to her husband except by agreement before marriage. If she desires to relinquish her claim she can do so only to the person who has purchased the property. Should the wife predecease her husband, of course her interest ceases. Upon her husband's death, the dower estate of the surviving wife becomes fixed, and in New York and most other States entitles the wife to one-third of the income from the real property as long as she lives. Usually the wife's dower right is satisfied by paying her a lump sum, arrived at by multiplying one-third of the net rent for one year by the number of years the insurance tables indicate the wife will live, after her husband's death.