I do-- now how much of this do I need to re-do?
September 3, 2010 11:28 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I have decided to get married now and have the wedding in the next couple of years. But we just bought a business, and in the last couple of weeks I have signed dozens of legal and financial documents. I'm taking his last name- what is the difficulty level of doing name changes on all of these documents, and how soon do I need to have them completed?

We have been planning marriage for quite some time and are already common-law, but we have decided that we want to be married now, though we will wait to have a small family wedding until we have the time and the money to make it easy for our family members to be able to attend. We're getting the rings and the license within the month, letting the families know, and explaining that the wedding is in the works for a time when we can get away from the business to do so-- realistically at least a year or two away.

In the process of setting up our new corporation and getting all of our vendors and certifications in place, I've recently signed many documents ranging from legal (as a stakeholder, I've signed purchase and sale agreements and personal guarantees for the financing), to literally dozens of vendor credit applications-- all in my soon-to-be maiden name. We take possession in a week, and things will obviously be even more hectic for at least the next couple of months.

I need to know what I'm looking at in terms of difficulty level of getting these switched over to my married name; which ones would be most urgent and which might be able to wait; and how long I have to get them done.

The internet and previous questions on AskMe have indicated that that my first changes, after I get the certified marriage license, need to be with CRA and Service Canada (IRS and Social Security equivalents for the US MeFites), as well as getting a new driver's license; I will have to handle my passport within the next couple of months (no travel plans for quite some time, but I know that I will need to get this done sooner rather than later). I'm guessing that my next action items would be our lawyer and our business and personal banks, vehicle title and loan, then utilities/provincial health/private insurance. Self-employed, so employments docs are in my control; life insurance and wills are still in progress.

Am I correct with this so far? If so, then how do I handle/prioritize name changes with creditors who just have my name on record as a representative of a corporation (our credit card processing company, product suppliers, business utitlities, for example), though a few of them are backed by personal guarantee in my name? Any other advice as to how to make the process as painless as possible? Do I even need to worry about these "smaller" items in the short term, or can I hold off until things settle down?

Anonymous because the families don't yet know. I'd appreciate answers to the questions of logistics rather than opinions about the name change itself-- I'm just trying to get an idea of what the level of work will be so I can know how much time/effort I'm going to need to allocate.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (4 answers total)
I've been married for 13 years, and I didn't change my name until fairly recently; when my son started school and I wanted to have the same last name as he does.

In other words; the name change is something you *have* to do. It's something you can get around to when you get around to it.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:52 AM on September 3, 2010

sorry: *Is not* something you have to do.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:52 AM on September 3, 2010

Honestly I'd put the name change off as long as you feel comfortable with. You don't have to change your name when you get married, so just wait until your life is less busy.
posted by An algorithmic dog at 12:43 PM on September 3, 2010

You can hold off till things settle down.

I hope I can explain this properly... but there is a difference between needing the official name change to happen urgently so you can properly identify yourself in a timely manner to people who need to know your legal name as you move through the world (see: travel, driving, cashing checks)...

and the name change that needs to happen simply as a matter of record. For most of your business papers, it is simply a matter of record. You are the same legal entity that you were before, as an officer of the corporation; you're simply changing your name.

In the US, your credit is tied not to your personal name but to your Social Security Number. So "Pineapple Anne Doe" is the same exact financial/credit entity as "Pineapple Doe Smith", as long as I'm not changing SSN. I am assuming it is fairly close to the same in Canada.

With the creditors and vendors, you can send them a form letter from the corporation when you get around to it that says "Please update your records to reflect that company officer Pineapple Anne Doe has legally changed her name to Pineapple Doe Smith".

As long as you aren't miffed by receiving stuff in both names for a while as people update their files, the vendor/creditor side is really less an issue than the documents that will identify you on a daily basis.

Also keep in mind that big vendors and creditors won't likely drop everything to update their records on you right away. They might just drop the name-change letter in your file and leave things as is until they get around to making electronic updates.
posted by pineapple at 12:48 PM on September 3, 2010

« Older So a time machine, woman, and quirky teenager walk...   |   I love a cutter. Help me help her. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.