September 27, 2019 | Professor Kristine S. Knaplund presented “Women and Wills: An Empirical Analysis of the Married Women’s Property Act and Its Remarkable Resonance Today” for the American Bar Association’s Professor’s Corner, Section of Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law webinar. Professor Knaplund discussed all 805 probate files from 1900 St. Louis to see how women’s wills differed from men’s.
Via the American Bar Association:
By 1900, Missouri had a quarter century’s experience with its version of the Married Women’s Property Act, enacted in 1875 to reverse the common law and decree that personal property acquired by a married woman was her own; in 1889 a similar statute gave her control of her real property. Had enough time passed for her to accumulate enough wealth to execute a will? If she did, would she leave her property to her husband, or to others? Was her will more likely to be challenged than a man’s?
The webinar may be found here