I have changed my name, what should I do now?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Thursday, May 9, 2019.

For a variety of reasons, such as a divorce, marriage, or a personal preference for a new name, people in Missouri may go through with a name change. Once this life-changing decision is fulfilled and you have a legally recognized new name, you may wonder what you should do next. To solidify your new identity, there are important steps you should take.

Per FindLaw, it is crucial to put your new name into practice. When you fill out applications and forms, put your new identity on them. When you make new acquaintances, friends, or enter into business arrangements, introduce yourself with your new name. Also let your existing friends and family know that you want them to refer to you by your new name.

Another important step is to change your identity on your personal documents to your new name. These documents include your will, your home deed, the title to your vehicle, your checking or savings accounts at your bank, the name on your trust if you have one, any other accounts you may hold, and your power of attorney forms. You want to ensure you have no interruption of services and no dispute of property you own because they are still under your old name.

You also have the task of letting private and government services know of your new name. These include your employers, the Social Security Administration, your telephone company, your utility company, the Department of Motor Vehicles, basically any party that holds regular records on you. This also goes for your local government, especially any government, such as your city or county, that you pay taxes to.

Also, if you attend a school, you will have to inform the administration that you have changed your name. People who have a passport should get a name change on their passport through a local passport office. Individuals on public assistance should let a local welfare office know that they changed their identity so they do not lose on benefits. The same applies for veterans, who should tell the Veterans Administration about their new name.

Do not be alarmed if it takes a while for entities like your creditor or bank to recognize your new name, as they may be worried about identity theft and will tread cautiously until they accept you have changed your name. You may need to ask a professional family law attorney for assistance. Do not read this article as legal advice; it is only intended to inform you about family law topics.

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