Definitions for "Curtesy"
the life estate which a husband has in the lands of his deceased wife, which by the common law takes effect where he has had issue by her, born alive, and capable of inheriting the lands.
At common law, this was the husband's right to the land that his wife and he owned during the marriage.
the common-law right that gives a husband right to his wife's real property due to marriage.Specifically, it is the right that a husband has in terms of his wife's property at the time of her death.In some states, this right is only present if children who have rights of inheritance were born to the couple during the course of the marriage.In some states, this right does not exist at all.