If my maiden name is used on my husband’s power of attorney andI want to legally change my last name to his, would doing so invalidate it?

I’m listed as the attorney-in-fact on my husband’s general power of attorney, however it uses my maiden name. It was obtained a few days before we were married as he deployed shortly after. I would like to legally change my last name to his (Social Security, driver’s license, etc.) but would this cause the current power of attorney to become invalid since my last name on the notarized document would no longer match my updated identification? Could I provide financial institutions a certified copy of our marriage license (indicating my maiden name) as a means of proof for the power of attorney?

Asked on October 9, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) Legally, the change from maiden name to married name does not invalidate any contracts, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, etc. which either you have created or which name you.

2) Practically, it would be a good idea to do as you suggest and be prepared to provide a copy of your marriage license as proof of your identity. It's not necessary to do it ahead of time--especially since there's a good chance whatever documentation you provide will be misfiled or lost before you need to reference it.

3) Why not have your husband execute a new POA, which uses your married name? That would be  a simple way to keep everything consistent.


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