Using Both Maiden and Married Names

By the time many of us are married, we’ve built a great career and reputation. We may have a business linked to our birth name, so taking your partner’s name is not a decision taken lightly!

Did you know taking your spouse’s surname is not a legal name change? Your married surname is known as an assumed name. Organizations will allow anyone to assume their spouse’s surname by simply presenting their wedding certificate. There is no legal name change and you don’t need to get your birth certificate updated. This means that your former name is still legally yours – you can use it at any time and for any reason, regardless if you are married, separated or divorced.

This means you can still go ahead and change the name on your passport, driver’s licence and all other documents. These can be in your married surname whilst still being known everywhere by your birth surname. Conversely, you may leave all your identification and accounts in your birth name but ask people to call you by your married name.

Tips on being known by two names

If you end up having your identification and records under a different name from what you use, then watch out for a few common pitfalls:

  • Ensure your workbooks any international plane tickets under the name currently appearing in your passport.
  • Advise payroll if your bank account details change (account numbers don’t change when your name is updated, so they only need to be advised if you have a new account).
  • Ensure company pensions are updated to the correct name.
  • Being named as a beneficiary in a will or insurance policy is still valid in either name – that’s because you can use both your married and birth names at any time.
  • If you have a will, be sure to update it as soon as your relationship status changes; marriage and divorce can void a will. If you’ve separated your will is still valid, however, you may not want your partner to be a beneficiary in your estate.

Ready to start changing names?

Companies have a range of name change procedures; sending in forms, letters and emails, calling up, and visiting branches. It’s time-consuming to figure out what goes where! Let Easy Name Change provide comprehensive and ready-to-send name change paperwork for all the places where you need to change names, plus step-by-step filing instructions. It’s that simple!


Ready to change your name now?