California name change laws

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California name change laws

I have been using the first name Simone since 1982, but I never changed it legally. It’s on my driver’s license, passport and all other documents except my tax forms and Social Security card, which have my given name Susan. My father is concerned that as beneficiary of his estate, I may be denied my inheritance due to the name discrepancy. Is it necessary to legally change my first name to Simone? Thank you so much.

Asked on May 31, 2009 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I would change it legally so there is no confusion later on.  If you do, make sure your father has you listed as Simone in his will, trust, life insurance policy, and any other legal documents.  You should be sure to have all of your legal documents in order, as well.  It may be a bit of a hassle to change your social security card, but once you make the legal change, you should apply for a new card with your "new" name.  You can then file your taxes as Simone, as well.


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