Must a Will be changed to show a woman’s new surname after marriage?

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Must a Will be changed to show a woman’s new surname after marriage?

My wife and I had our Wills drawn up 2 years before we married. At that time my wife had retained her previous married name. We’ve been in a relationship for over 20 years and don’t wish to make any changes.

Asked on July 28, 2011 New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No. A Will does not have to be changed to show a woman's new surname after marriage to still be valid to give something to that woman regardless of whether or not she has a new name or not as long as the person who is receiving the gift is the person intended to get that what is given under a Will.

Your wife was also known under a maiden name. She is still the same person regardless of the maiden name or current name she uses. As long as you intend that she receives what you want to give her, it does not matter what name is listed in the Will.

You could always do a holographic amendment to your Will in your own handwriting stating your wife's current and maiden name as being one and the same and incorporate the prior Wills by reference if that makes you feel better.

Good luck.


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