A competent livelihood of freehold for the wife, of lands and tenements; to take effect in profit or possession, presently after the death of the hushand, for the life of the wife at least.
To make a good jointure, the following circumstances must concur:
- It must take effect, in possession or profit, immediately from the death of the hushand;
- It must be for the wife's life, or for some greater estate;
- It must be limited to the wife herself, and not to any other person in trust for her;
- It must be made in satisfaction for the wife's whole dower, and not of part of it only;
- The estate limited to the wife must be expressed or averred to be, in satisfaction of her whole dower, and;
- It must be made before marriage.
A jointure attended with all these circumstances is binding on the widow, and is a complete bar to the claim of dower; or rather it prevents its ever arising. But there are other modes of limiting an estate to a wife which are good jointures within the statute, provided the wife accepts of them after the death of the hushand. She may however, reject them and claim her dower. In its more enlarged sense, a jointure signifies a joint estate, limited to both hushand and wife.