- The definition of curtesy is a law that states a man gains the rights to his wife's land after she dies as long as they had children together.
An example of curtesy is a widower keeping his wife's house after she died.
the life interest which a husband acquires in the lands of his wife upon her death, provided they have children capable of inheriting: curtesy has been altered or abolished by statute in many U.S. states and in England
Origin of curtesyvariant, variety of courtesy
The life tenure that by common law is held by a man over the property of his deceased wife if children with rights of inheritance were born during the marriage.
Origin of curtesyMiddle English courtesie; see courtesy.
curtesy - Legal Definition
Under the common law, a husband’s entitlement to a life estate in all the land that his wife possessed at her death in either fee simple or fee tail, provided the couple had a living child who was capable of inheriting his or her mother’s estate. This right has been abolished in most states. See also dower.curtesy consummate
The name of a husband’s right of curtesy after his wife’s death.curtesy initiate
The name of a husband’s right of curtesy before his wife’s death, once the right is created upon the birth of the couple’s first child.