This section is from the book "The Law Of Real Property and Other Interests In Land", by Herbert Thorn Dike Tiffany. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise on the Modern Law of Real Property and Other Interests in Land .
Though generally the incidents and attributes of legal estates were by chancery given to equitable estates, an exception was made as regards dower, which was not allowed in such estates in England until the rule was changed by statute.10 In this country, while in some cases the original English rule was followed,11 a different rule usually prevails, frequently by express provision of statute.12 In some states, statutes allowing dower in an equitable estate have been construed to be applicable only when the husband has not disposed of his interest before his death.13
5. Park, Dower, 47; Whitmire v. Wright, 22 S. C. 44G, 53 Am. Rep. 725; Goodwin v. Goodwin, 33 Conn. 314; Ware v. Washington, 6 Smedes & M. (Miss.) 737. In some states, however, there are statutes giving dower in estates for a considerable period of years, named in the statute. See 1 Scribner, Dower, 364.
6. Spangler v. Stanler, 1 Md. Ch. 3G.
7. Duncan v. Navassa Phosphate Co., 137 U. S. 647, 34 L. Ed. 825.
8. Litt. Sec. 53; 2 Blackst. Comm. 79; Park, Dower, Cro. Jac. 615; Northcut v. Whipp, 12 B. Mon. (Ky.) 65; Peay v. Peay, 2 Rich. Eq. (S. C.) 409. And it has been held in England that there was no dower when the estate in fee simple given to the husband was subject to a limitation over at the husband's death in favor of his issue if he had issue, since the children would necessarily take by the limitation and not by descent. Barker v. Barker, 2 Sim. 249.
9. Co. Litt. 40b; 1 Scribner, Dower (2d Ed.) 229. But at common law there was no dower if the wife was under nine. Id.
10. Park, Dower, 124 et seq.; 4 Kent, Comm. 43; 1 Roper, Husb. & Wife, 354; Bottomley v. Fairfax, Finch, Prec. 336, 1 Ames' Cas. Trusts, 375, and note; D'-Arcy v. Blake, 2 Schoales & L. 388, 1 Ames' Cas. Trusts 376. The rule was changed in England by the Dower Act, 3 & 4 Wm. IV. c. 105 (A. D. 1833).
In so far as dower may exist in equitable estates in the particular jurisdiction, and there is also recognized, as is generally the case, a resulting trust in favor of a purchaser who has the legal title vested in another,14 there would seem to be a right of dower in favor of such purchaser's wife.15 The decisions are not however entirely clear as regards the dower right of the widow of one who, on purchasing property, had the legal title placed in a third person. In a few cases the court placed its decision in favor of the dower right upon the consideration that the title was so taken with the in11. See Mayburry v. Brien, 15 Pet. (U. S.) 38; Blakeney v. Ferguson, 20 Ark. 547: Hopkins v Frey, 2 Gill (Md.) 359; Mann v. Edson, 39 Me. 25; Hopkinson v. Dumas, 42 N. H. 301; Phifer v. Phifer, 157 N. C. 221, 72 S. E 1006; Hadley v. Hadley, 73 Ore. 179, 144 Pac. 80.
12. Green v. Huntington, 7:t Conn. 106, 4G Atl 883; Nicoll v. Ogden, 29 111. 323, 81 Am. Dee. 311; Stroup v. Stroup, 140 Ind. 179, 27 L. R. A. 523, 39 N. E. 864; Everitt v. Everitt, 71 Iowa 221. 32 N. W. 273; Stevens v. Smith, 4 J. J. Marsh. (Ky.) 64, 20 Am. Dec. 205; Davis v. Green, 102 Mo. 170, 11 L. R. A. 90. 14 S. W. 876; Yeo v. Mercereau, 18 N. J. L. 387; Brown v. Brown. 82 N. J. Eq. 40, 88 Atl. 186; Church v. Church. 3 Sandf. Ch. (N. Y.) 434; Hen-dren v. Hendren, 153 N. Car. 505, 69 S. E. 506; Shoemaker v. Walker. 2 Serg. & R. (Pa.) 554; Thompson v. Cochran, 7 Humph. (Tenn.) 72, 46 Am. Dec. 68; Row-ton v. Rowton, 1 Hen. & M. (Va.) 92; Meyer v. Barnett, 60 W. Va. 467, 6 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1191, 116 Am. St. Rep. 894, 56 S. E. 206; Harley v. Harley, 140 Wis. 282. 122 N. W. 761. For statutory provisions, see, also, 1 Stimson's Am. St. Law, Sec. 3212; 1 Scribner, Dower, 420 et seq.; 1 Sharswood & B. Lead. Cas. Real Prop. 312. And compare Phelps v. Phelps, 143 N. V. 197, 25 L. R. A. 625, 38 N. E. 280, construing the New York statute.
13. In re Ransom, 17 Fed. 331: Hamilton v. Hughes, 6 J. J. Marsh. (Ky.) 581; Glenn v. Clark, 53 Md. 580; Miller v. Wilson, 15 Ohio, 108.
14. Ante Sec. 107(c).
15. See Redman's Adm'r v. Redman, 112 Ky. 760, 66 S. W. 745.
Tention of defeating dower,16 apparently regarding it as analogous to the case of a conveyance in fraud of dower.16a Occasionally, when the legal title was taken in the name of another for the purpose of defrauding creditors, the widow was denied her dower in the land,16b presumably on the theory that under such circumstances equity does not recognize a resulting trust in favor of the person paying the consideration.16c In one state a transaction, by which one of the parties has property conveyed to another in order to exclude dower in favor of the other party to the marital relation has been referred to as entirely proper and justifiable:16d and in England the propriety of such a practice appears never to have been questioned.16e
- Interests under contract of purchase. As before explained, one to whom another has contracted to convey land has what is regarded as an equitable estate in the land,17 and this view has been applied, in some jurisdictions, to the extent of giving the widow of such vendee dower in land purchased and paid for by the husband, but which had not been conveyed to him at the time of his death.18 According to some decisions,
16. Stroup v. Stroup, 140 Ind. 179, 39 N. E. 864, 27 L. R. A. 523; Redman's Adm'r v. Redman, 112 Ky. 760, 66 S. W. 745; Crecilius v. Horst, 11 Mo. App. 304. Contra, Phelps v. Phelps, 143 N. Y. 197, 25 L. R. A. 523, 38 N. E. 280.
16a. Post Sec. 220(a).
16b. King v. King, 61 Ala. 479; Johnson v. Johnson, 106 Ark. 9, 152 S. W. 1017; Feltz v. Walker, 49 Conn. 93; Miller v. Wilson, 15 Ohio, 108.
16c. Ante Sec. 107(c).
16d. Kirkpatrick v. Clark, 132 111. 342, 8 L. R. A. 511, 22 Am. St. Rep. 531, 24 N. E. 71.
16e. Park, Dower, ch. 5.
17. See ante Sec. 125.
18. Young v. Young, 45 N. J. Eq. 27, 16 Atl. 921; Gully v. Ray, 18 B. Mon. (Ky.) 107; Owen v. Robbins, 19 111. 545, and cases in notes following. Contra, Bowman v. Bailey, 20 S. C. 550. Stephens v. Leonard, 122 Mich. 125, 80 N. W. 1002; Dalton v. Mertz, 197, Mich. 390, 163 N. W. 912.
The statute sometimes contains a special provision as to the rights of the widow of a purchaser who has not paid all of the purchase money. See 1 Stimson's Am. St. Law, 3212 (B); Boyd v. Harrison, 36 Ala. 533;Lipscomb v. De Lemos, 68 Ala. 592; Tink v. Walker, 148 the husband must have paid all, and nol merely a part, of the purchase price, before his death, in order that his widow be endowed.19 And even in states where this view does not obtain, the widow is given dower only as to the surplus value of the land after payment of the balance of the purchase money due.20 Nor is there usually any dower right if, before the purchase price was entirely paid, the husband transferred to another his interest under the contract of purchase.21