Name Change Overview and Information
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 peoples' rights cannot be affected such as famous people,
(c) use of a curse word as a name is frowned upon, and
(d) when a minor is involved, the court looks to the best interest of the minor.
Means of changing your name generally include: (a) Usage
(b) Court Order (required by most states)
(c) A Marriage Certificate
After you have changed your name you may need to change records including: (a) Social Security Card, (b) Drivers License, (c) Passport, (d) Post Office, (e) IRS, (f) Voter Registration, (g) Banks, (h) Credit Cards, (i) Doctors (j) Insurance Companies, (k) State Tax Authority, (l) Clubs, (m) Memberships, (n) Employer and (o) 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.
Consulting with a lawyer regarding any significant legal matter such as a name change is always advisable. Because of the complexity of some name change documents, it may be advantageous to consult an attorney to explain the full effects of the name change. A lawyer can also help you through the legal process of changing a name.