I said in yesterday's post that I will write about how to handle differences and changes in your name when you’re doing estate planning. First, however, I thought it might be useful to give you the basic law on how to legally change your name. This discussion only covers how to do a legal name change in Arizona, but other states probably have a similar process.
Arizona law says that if an Arizona resident desires to change his or her name and adopt another name, the person may file an application in the superior court in the county of the person's residence, setting forth reasons for the change of name and the name the person wishes to adopt. The court must consider the following criteria in determining whether to enter judgment that the adopted name of the person be substituted for the original name, and the person must state under penalty of perjury:
1. If the person has been convicted of a felony.
2. If felony charges are pending in any jurisdiction against the person for any offense involving theft, forgery, fraud, or perjury, or any other offense involving false statements or misrepresentations about the person's identity.
3. If the person is knowingly changing the person's name to that of another individual for the purpose of committing or furthering the commission of any offense involving theft, forgery, fraud, or perjury, or any other offense involving false statements.
4. The person is making the application solely for the best interest of the person.
5. The person acknowledges that the change of name will not release the person from any obligations incurred or harm any rights of property or actions in the original name.
If the court finds that the name change is appropriate after considering those criteria, the court may enter judgment that the adopted name of the person be substituted for the person’s original name.
That’s about all there is to it. If you want to read the actual law, here’s a link to the current Arizona statute.
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The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.