Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In English law. That portion of the effects of a deceased person which, by the custom of London and York, is allowed to the administrator; being, where the deceased leaves a widow and children, one-third; where he leaves only a widow or only children, one-half; and, where he leaves neither, the whole. This portion the administrator was wont to apply to his own use, till the statue 1 Jac. II. c. 17, declared that the same should be subject to the statute of distributions. 2 Bl. Comm. 518; 2 Steph. Comm. 254 ; 4 Reeve, Eng. Law, 83. A similar portion in Scotch law is called "dead's part," (q. v.)