How to change a beneficiary’s name on a will and other legal documents when they get married?

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How to change a beneficiary’s name on a will and other legal documents when they get married?

I am listed as a beneficiary on my parents Will as well as other legal documents. I will be getting married in a few months and will be changing my name. I assume it is necessary to change my name on these documents. How is this done?

Asked on June 21, 2011 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that it is not necessary to do anything in this situation. A name change does not legally prevent someone from receiving a bequest under a Will or any other benefits, assets, distributions, proceeds, etc. Granted, if the person would be difficult to locate and/or identify due to their change of name, then it might well be advisable to make changes to the Will and other documents. As to the Will it could be done by a "codicil" (i.e. amendment), and by amending the beneficiary designation on any insurance forms or changing the name recorded by any bank with on bank accounts, etc. Again, while this is a convenienc, there is no legal requirement to make these changes. Failure to do so does not invalidate any of them.


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