With Dower Rights going away in Michigan, it is important that you understand what they are and how to prepare moving forward.
Some big news in the Michigan real estate world. Dower Rights will no longer exist in Michigan starting April 6, 2017. Here are some important things to know:
What Are Dower Rights?
Michigan is currently one of a few states that still have legal dower. In most cases, Dower Rights is a wife’s one-third interest in any property that her husband owns. For example, if a husband wants to sell a property that he owns, and he is the only person on title, his wife would still need to sign the deed in order for him to be able to sell it, even if she is NOT on title. Furthermore, if he passes away, his wife can then claim her dower in which she has a one-third interest in any property that her husband owned throughout the marriage.
This will all change in April. In order for a wife to have interest in her husband’s property, she will need to be on title. One important thing to note though. When you are married, you will still have a spousal interest in your PRINCIPAL residence (the home that you currently live in full time with your husband) and that won’t change. So even if you are not on title for your principal residence, you will still have interest in the home.
Dower Rights protect a wife; they do not give any rights to a husband. In Michigan, a wife is able to buy and sell property without her husband having an interest in it. Now, both husband and wife will be able to own their own real estate without the other having an interest.
Why Get Rid of Dower Rights?
The reason Michigan decided to get rid of Dower Rights is pretty simple. Now that there is more same-sex marriage, the law needed to be revised. As it states now, it states that a “wife has interest in her husband’s property”. In same-sex marriage situations, thats obviously not the case. Instead of revising the law, the state of Michigan decided to get rid of it all together.
Also, as I have stated before, Michigan one of the only states left that still had Dower. Getting rid of Dower Rights will make certain transactions a lot smoother with less complications. If a husband inherits a property that he wants to give to his children in the future, this now gives him the flexibility to do that without having anyone else involved.
How To Prepare Going Forward
If you are a married woman, you may be thinking that getting rid of Dower Rights could have a negative effect on you. I’m here to tell you its not a huge deal if you don’t make it one. As long as you take the appropriate steps to make sure you are protected in the future, there will be no issues. If you want interest in a property that your husband owns, the easiest way to ensure that is to make sure you are on title with him. When in doubt, get in touch with a realtor so that they can point you in the right direction.If you live in the Metro Detroit area and have any questions about Dower Rights, please reach out to me via phone, email, the website, or any of my Social Media platforms. I look forward to speaking with you!Daniel Naurato is a Real Estate Professional specializing in Wayne and Oakland counties. Daniel has an exceptional eye for luxury homes and prides himself on being a leader in marketing and social media. Having grown up in Northville, MI, Daniel has a deep appreciation and extensive knowledge of the local communities. He believes in providing his clients maximum value and understands that each person requires a customized approach.
If you are looking to buy or sell a home, he can be reached by phone at (734) 564-8397 or via email at NauratoRealEstate@gmail.com.