Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Can I have my mother legally add a middle name that was not on her birth certificate!

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  • Can I have my mother legally add a middle name that was not on her birth certificate!

    My mother does not have a middle name on her birth certificate; however, she has used one since she was in school. She used her middle initial on her SS Card, her driver's license, her credit cards, and some of her insurance papers. She now lives with me and I have her power of attorney and take care of her bills etc. Will this be a problem later on legally for life insurance, death certificate, etc. I am thinking of taking her to have a legal name change, but is this necessary? If it is a good idea, where would you go to request the change and what kind of paper work we she be required to provide?

    Thanks for your help!!!
    Ch13 filed 1/13/11, 341 held 2/17/11, Confirmed 3/23/11
    1% to unsecured creditors
    25 down, 15 to go! Thanks to all for your help here on the Forum!

  • #2
    I have absolutely no idea what the legal ramifications are. I have always used a middle name/initial. When the DMV started requiring a zillion forms of ID to renew a driver's license, they refused to include my M.I., because it is not on my birth certificate. So, I just stopped using my M.I. about ten years ago. It is on my S.S. and everything else since shortly after I was born. The family story was: when I was baptized, my parents were told my name was a pagan name and they would have to add in a saint's name. (So, it would be on that certificate, I guess if I ever wanted to try and get a copy.)

    Anyway . . . when I filed BK, I found it amusing that all my papers and Pacer, show my name (without M.I.,) and A/K/A (with.) AKA like the wanted posters in the P.O.

    I'm sorry, I wish I could help. Your post just brought this back for me, thought I'd share.


    • #3
      yes, it could cause a problem somewhere along the line if it's not on her birth cert. or, maybe nothing will happen ever. it's not worth taking the chance.

      just call an atty and have them legally assign the middle initial. or, legal name change forms for every state are available at U.S. Legal Forms. again, if it were me, would have an atty do one for you, just to assure it gets filed correctly. it's really not that big of a deal to do.
      8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK


      • #4
        While a legal name change will simplify things, it isn't essential. It is very common for people to use names other than what is on their birth certificates. Assuming there is nobody contesting a person's identity, there are ways to easily deal with it after death, if the issue even comes up. In my experience administering trusts and estates in California for over 10 years, I have encountered many decedents who started using different names without doing a legal name change and it has never been an issue that can't be addressed by inserting an extra sentance or filling in an extra blank in a document.

        In California, there is a place on a death certificate to include other names used. I bet that's true for other states too. It would be helpful if she includes an "aka" on her estate planning documents. But again, not essential.
        LadyInTheRed is in the black!
        Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
        $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


        • #5
          i will have to agree to disagree with you on this lady. i know of two cases this was a HUGE issue....other sides of the legal world ...i have seen names matter a few times in my 25 year career. so i think since it's a small price to pay and if one uses it all the time, it's best to have it legal.

          many times by the time one dies it really doesn't matter unless someone is contesting something and challenges everything they can.
          8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK


          • #6
            When we work with different names in estates/trusts/life ins - the accounts usually also have a dob or an address or even ssn - something that helps to confirm the identity. As long as her name isnt Jones or Smith (or the like and there are not others with the same name living in her city/town), and everyone in the family gets along, it shouldnt be a huge issue - you just do an a/k/a on all legal docs (wills, estates, ins, deeds, etc...).

            But at the same time, it wouldnt hurt to do the legal.


            • #7
              i really think that's my point. it just doesn't hurt to do it legally, neither financially nor anyway else.

              i have just seen that it can be a problem in the future depending on what type of situation it presents itself in. especially, in light of the fact that according to the OP the middle initial is used all the time. if it wasn't, or just once in a while alright. but, it it's someone one has adopted, just adopt it legally that's all.
              8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK


              • #8
                Thanks to you all for your responses. She is getting ready to amend her will and we will have her add the AKA as well. As far as family, it's only me and 2 siblings and we know the situation. She has a very unique first name so I don't think it will be an issue proving her identity. I will ask an atty about though for peace of mind. Thanks again!!
                Ch13 filed 1/13/11, 341 held 2/17/11, Confirmed 3/23/11
                1% to unsecured creditors
                25 down, 15 to go! Thanks to all for your help here on the Forum!


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