The need for a legal name change may result from marriage, divorce, adoption or simply a desire to have another name.
Generally, (a) you cannot change your name for a fraudulent purpose, such as avoiding debts. (b) other people's rights cannot be affected such as famous people, (c) use of a curse word as a name would not be recommended, and (d) when a minor is involved, the court looks to the best interest of the minor.
Means of changing your name generally include:
- Usage - In some states using a name as your own has the affect of making it your name.
- Court Order - A Court order is recommended to change your name and is required by most states.
- A marriage certificate serves as proof of name change.
After you have changed your name you may need to change records including:
- Social Security Card,
- Drivers License,
- Post Office,
- Voter Registration,
- Credit Cards,
- Insurance Companies,
- State Tax Authority,
- Employer and
- Retirement plans.
You will also need to consider changing your (a) Will, (b) Health Care Proxy, (c) Living Will, (d) Trust, (e) Power of Attorney and (f) Contracts.