The Michigan legislature recently passed a package of bills abolishing Michigan dower. Effective 90 days from the date the bills are signed by the governor, dower will no longer exist in Michigan. Governor Snyder signed the bills on January 6, 2017, making April 6, 2017 the effective date.
The bills abolish statutory and common law dower and remove dower from the Estates and Protected Individual Code and divorce judgments. The amendments include a narrow exception to preserve dower already elected by a woman whose husband died before the effective date, or by a woman whose husband died before the effective date and who still has time under the Estates and Protected Individual Code to elect dower.
Michigan is the only state with dower for wives only. In practice, dower was rarely elected by widows. Additionally, the bills will remove dower as a longstanding issue in real property title and transfers.
For more information, contact Probate and Real Estate attorney, Jeffrey M. Black, at (616) 458-3994 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.