February 4, 2008
Kentucky Dower Statute Analyzed
Elizabeth S. Muyskens (J.D. Candidate 2008, University of Kentucky College of Law) has recently published her Note entitled Married in Kentucky: a Surviving Spouse's Dower Right in Personalty, 96 Ky. L.J. 99 (2007-2008).
Here is an excerpt from her Note:
Kentucky is not only unusual for retaining some form of the common law rule of dower through statute, but also for including personal property in its dower statute. Common law limited dower to real estate and, in most states, the right to dower has been replaced with elective share statutes.***
Rather than trying to persuade the legislature to abolish Kentucky's dower statute, this Note analyzes the current way that Kentucky courts define and administer personal property in the context of dower along with the transactions that courts have found constituted a fraud on the surviving spouse's dower right in personal property. An understanding of the current status of a spouse's dower interest is necessary to ensure that transactions involving personal property will not be found fraudulent and therefore voided upon the interested spouse's death.
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