About Kristine Knaplund
"The Evolution of Women's Rights in Inheritance" explores the period shortly after passage of Married Women's Property Acts, when women had increasing economic power and the right to execute a will without their husbands' consent. Many women had substantial wealth and strong convictions about who should inherit it. By analyzing all the probate files in Los Angeles County in 1893, we discovered ways in which women differed significantly from men in their bequests. In additon we found an astonishing amount of litigation, including will contests, objections to accounts, and actions to quiet title in over 20% of the wills. By building on earlier studies, this article fills in gaps in the literature and provides original data.