Name Change Law and Legal Definition

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:

  1. Usage - In some states using a name as your own has the affect of making it your name.
  2. Court Order - A Court order is recommended to change your name and is required by most states.
  3. A marriage certificate serves as proof of name change.

After you have changed your name you may need to change records including:

  1. Social Security Card,
  2. Drivers License,
  3. Passport,
  4. Post Office,
  5. IRS,
  6. Voter Registration,
  7. Banks,
  8. Credit Cards,
  9. Doctors,
  10. Insurance Companies,
  11. State Tax Authority,
  12. Clubs,
  13. Memberships,
  14. Employer and
  15. 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.