If you have changed your legal name, certain documents must be updated, and certain agencies must be notified. However, just simply updating your license and e-mail signature is not enough, you must take additional steps in order to make sure that the correct agencies have been notified.
People change their names for several reasons:
- Marriage – A spouse takes the other spouse’s last name after a marriage.
- Divorce – Going back to their former name after a divorce
- Adoption – Adopted children usually take the last name of their new family
- Choice – Individuals choose to change their name.
Steps to Take After Name Change:
- Update all your legal documents – Driver’s license, Identification Card, Voter’s Registration, etc.
- Update Accounts – Notify your bank, IRA custodian, Insurance company, etc.
- Report Change to Social Security Administration – This is often the most crucial and important step. When you file your taxes, the IRS checks SSA records to make sure that the name and social security number matches. You should also obtain a new Social Security Card, which can be done by completing Form SS-5 (which can be found online at SSA.gov)
Article by Bonie S. Montalvo, Esq