Changing Your Name
Your name doesn’t automatically change when you get married; whether or not you change your name after marriage is really a personal choice. Some couples feel that sharing the same last name helps them to feel more like a family, and is a symbol of the commitment that they have made to each other. Others look at it as an old and outdated tradition, and choose to keep their same name after they marry.
Around 75% of couples choose to go the “traditional” route, with the one partner taking the other’s last name. But there really is no rule about this; just one of you can change your name, BOTH of you can change your name, or neither of you changes your name.
Many couples choose to hyphenate their names… either using their maiden and married names, or using both partners’ old last names (ex. “Smith-Powers”).
You could also create an alternative blended name, using both of your previous last names (for example, Smith & Powers become “Sowers”) - or you could both choose a completely different last name that you both like - but to do either of these, you will both have to file a petition with your district court for approval in order to change your names.
One more thing to consider - If you come into the marriage with children and choose to change their last names, you will have to petition the court for a legal name change as well.
SO - what steps do you need to take in order to change your last name?
1. The first step is to order certified copies of your marriage certificate, which will serve as your proof of name change. (I would recommend ordering at least 3 copies - Some agencies will require an original document, while others are fine with a photocopy.)
2. The second step is to contact the Social Security Administration to request a name change.
3. Finally, you will want to make yourself a checklist of who you need to contact regarding your name change. Keep in mind that some will require you to contact them within 30 days of your name change; many can be done online, but some (such as your Drivers License) must be done in-person.
* Your employer / HR
* Bank accounts (You will also want new cards & checks)
(You might also consider opening a joint bank account!)
* Investment Accounts
* Credit Cards
* Landlord or mortgage company
* Utility Companies (electric, gas, water, trash)
* Phone Company
* Insurance Companies (health, auto, home, life, etc.)
* Doctors Offices
* Your Attorney (to update legal documents, will, etc.)
* Subscriptions (magazines, streaming services, etc)
Not sure where to start? Check your bank statements to review
which subscriptions you might have on auto-pay
* Memberships (library, gym, etc.)