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 .
After assignment of dower, the widow's seisin is regarded as relating back to the time of the husband's death, so that the heir, even though he entered before assignment, is not considered to have been seised of that part of the land whereof the widow is endowed.53 The widow has an estate for life in the property assigned for dower, with all the rights, and subject to the liabilities, of any-other life tenant.54 She may accordingly convey or encumber her estate.55 She is bound to pay taxes on the land assigned to her for dower,56 to keep down the interest on incumbrances,57 and to contribute her proportion towards the payment of the principal.58 She
53. Litt. Sec. 387; Co. Litt. 239a; Park, Dower, 340; 1 Cruise Dig. tit. 6, c. 3, Sec. 21; 4 Kent, Comm. 62, 69; Powell v. Monson & Brimfield Mfg. Co., 3 Mason, 347. Fed. Cas. No. 11,356; Conant v. Little, 1 Pick. (Mass.) 189; Radley v. Radley, 78 N. J. Eq. 170, 78 Atl. 194; Lawrence v. Miller, 2 N. Y. 245; Norwood v. Morrow, 20 N. C. 447.
The effect of this principle in depriving the heir's widow of dower in land assigned to the ancestor's widow has been previously referred to. See Sec. 217. note 41. It also had important effects at common law upon the descent of the land assigned to the widow. Park, Dower, 343. But though the widow was considered to be in by her husband of the lands assigned to her, she was regarded as holding in tenure of the heir. See Park, Dower, 340. 344.
54. 2 Scribner, Dower, (2d Ed) 781 et seq.; Whyte v. Nashville, 2 Swan (Tenn.) 364; Mc
Mahon v. Gray 150 Mass. 289; Kunselman v. Stine, 183 Pa. St. 1; Peyton v. Jeffries, 50 111. 143.
55. Summers v. Babb, 13 111. 483; Kunselman v. Stine, 183 Pa. St. 1. See Lawrence v Brown. 5 N. Y. 394; Serry v. Curry 26 Neb. 353.
56. Stetson v. Day, 51 Me. 434; Durkee v. Felton, 44 Wis. 467; Austell v. Swann, 74 Ga. 278; Linden v. Graham, 34 Barb. (N. Y.) 316; Jones v. Hunt, 40 N. J. Eq. 660. 57. Hodges v. Phinney, 106 Mich. 537; House v. House, 10 Paige (N. Y.) 158.
If the land is condemned after the husband's death and assignment of dower, the widow is entitled to compensation, as any other owner of a life interest. Todemier v. Aspinwall, 43 111. 401.
In re William & Anthony Streets, 19 Wend. (N. Y.) 678; Borough of York v. Welsh, 117 Pa. St. 174. 58. Jones v. Gilbert, 135 111. 27,
25 N. E. 566; Hodges v. Phinney, 106 Mich. 537, 64 N. W. 477; Smith is likewise liable for the commission of waste.59 The widow is entitled to the crops growing on the land assigned to her at the time of the assignment,60 and her personal representatives are, by force of the Statute of Merton,61 or similar state statutes,62 entitled to those growing at the time of her death.
In the ordinary case, the widow becoming owner in severalty of the portion of the land assigned to her as dower, the owners of the balance of decedent's land cannot demand partition against her.62a But if dower is assigned to the widow of one who had an undivided interest, her interest is undivided, and the other co-tenants may, under some statutes, demand partition as against her.62b v Stephens, 164 Mo. 415, 64 S. W. 260; Swain v. Perrine, 5 Johns. Ch. (N. Y.) 482, 9 Am. Dec. 318; House v. House, 10 Paige (N. Y.) 158. As to the method of ascertaining her due proportion, see ante Sec. 33.
59. Nashville Lumber Co. v. Barefleld, 93, Ark. 353, 20 Ann. Cas. 968, 124 S. W. 758; Calvert v. Rice, 91 Ky. 533, 34 Am. St. Rep. 240, 16 S. W. 351; Ccok v. Cook, 11 Gray (Mass.) 123; Johnson v. Perley, 2 N. H. 56, 9 Am. Dec. 35; King v. Miller, 99 N. C. 583, 6 S. E. 660; Owen v. Hyde, 6 Yerg. (Tenn.) 334, 27 Am. Dec. 467; Lunn v. Oslin, 96 Tenn. 28, 31 S. W. 561; Willey v. Larawa/, 64 Vt. 559, 25 Atl. 436; Crouch v. Puryear, 1 Rand. (Va.) 258, 10 Am. Dec. 528. For statutes to this effect, see 1 Stimson's Am. St. Law, Sec. 3231.
In some states, the commission of waste by the widow is by statute made ground for forfeiture of her dower estate, and in others for the recovery of damages only, See Sharswood & B. Lead. Cas Real Prop. 407; 1 Stimson's Am. St. Law, Sec. 3231 (B), (C).
60. 2 Scribner, Dower (2d Ed.) 778; Ralston v. Ralston, 3 G. Greene (Iowa) 533; Parker v. Parker, 17 Pick. (Mass.) 236; Kaln v. Fisher, 6 N Y. 597; Vaughn v. Vaughn, 88 Tenn. 742, 13 S. W. 1089.
61. 20 Hen. III. c. 2 (A. D. 1237); Park, Dower, 355.
62. See 1 Stimson's Am. St. Law Sec. 3233; 2 Scribner, Dower, 780. But she has no right to the crops sown by her when her estate is terminated by her consent to a sale of the land free of dower. Talbot v. Hill, 68 111. 106.
62a. Clark v. Richardson, 32 Iowa, 309; Wood v. Bryant, 68 Miss. 198, 8 So. 518; Radley v. Radley, 78 N. J. Eq. 170, 78 Atl. 194.
62b. See McQueen v. Turner, 91 Ala. 273, 8 So. 863; Johnson v. Olmstead, 49 Conn. 509; HatterOn the termination of her dower estate by her death, the person who has the reversion upon the dower estate, whether he be the husband's heir or devisee, or a grantee of the land, is entitled to immediate possession.63