If someone signs documents with a non legal adoptive name do all documents become null and void?

My mother was never adopted by my grandmother but she has always used my grandmothers name on all legal papers. If she signed papers with my grandmothers last name not being legally my mothers last name do all legal documents become null and void?

Asked on June 7, 2018 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, they do not automatically become null and void. The purpose of signing a contract or other document is to show your agreement to it and acceptance of its terms. If she used the name she always used, that clearly shows that it was *her* signing and therefore that she agreed to or accepted the documents. People who are fully illiterate or who have muscular or neurological deficits can sign by an "X" as long as the circumstances show it was them signing; similarly, using a name you like to go by is legal.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, they do not automatically become null and void. The purpose of signing a contract or other document is to show your agreement to it and acceptance of its terms. If she used the name she always used, that clearly shows that it was *her* signing and therefore that she agreed to or accepted the documents. People who are fully illiterate or who have muscular or neurological deficits can sign by an "X" as long as the circumstances show it was them signing; similarly, using a name you like to go by is legal.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.