Let it be known.. Name change
Once you’ve completed your name change, it’s important that you make sure to spread the news. Of course, your close friends and family probably already know—and may have been calling you by your new name for quite some time. But your larger circle of acquaintances and business associates also need to know, and you must notify government agencies and change your identification as soon as you can after your name change is official.
Implementing Your Name Change
The practical steps of implementing a name change are:
Advise officials and businesses. Contact the various government and business agencies with which you deal and have your name changed on their records. Different institutions will have different rules and forms; a few will only require your phone call or an email. But in our increasingly security-conscious world, most will require special forms, a copy of a court order listing your new name, and, in a few instances, even a personal meeting. (See below for a list of folks to contact.)
Enlist help of family and friends. Tell your friends and family that you’ve changed your name and you now want them to use only your new one. It may take those close to you a while to get used to associating you with a new sound. Some of them might even object to using the new name, perhaps fearing the person they know so well is becoming someone else. Be patient and persistent.
Use only your new name. If you are employed or in school, go by your new name there. Introduce yourself to new acquaintances and business contacts with your new name.
Changing Identification and Records
It’s generally recommended that you first acquire a driver’s license, then a Social Security card in your new name. Once you have those pieces of identification, it’s usually fairly simple to acquire others or have records changed to reflect your new name.
Here are the people and institutions to notify of your name change:
- Friends and family
- Post office
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Social Security Administration
- Department of Records or Vital Statistics (issuers of birth certificates)
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Creditors and debtors
- Telephone and utility companies
- State taxing authority
- Insurance agencies
- Registrar of Voters
- Passport office
- Public Assistance (welfare) office
- Veterans Administration.
If you’ve made a will or other estate planning document (like a living trust), it’s best to replace it with a new document using your new name. Your beneficiaries won’t lose their inheritances if you don’t, but changing the document now will avoid confusion later.
Finally, remember to change your name on other important legal papers — for example, powers of attorney, living wills, and contracts. And if you’re named in someone else’s will or trust document, be sure that you notify that person in writing and ask them to make sure their executor or successor trustees are made aware of the change as well.
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