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Planning a wedding leads to a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, you’re filled with excitement, about to marry the love of your life surrounded by your friends and family. On the other hand, you’ve never been so stressed trying to balance finding invitations with cake tastings, dress fittings and a million other details.
The last thing you want to do is spend hours filling out paperwork and on the phone informing dozens of entities about your name change after marriage. However, if you go about this process the old-fashioned way, that’s exactly what you’ll end up doing. Here’s what no one tells you about changing your name (and how to avoid this process altogether… hint hint HitchSwitch)
YOU HAVE OPTIONS
Before you start the process, you need to decide what name you’ll take. Changing your name doesn’t necessarily mean dropping your last name and replacing it with your soon to be husbands. Although that’s pretty common, more brides are choosing alternative methods, that are better suited for their personal or professional needs. In most states, men and women can legally change their last name to their new spouse’s last name, hyphenate their two last names, or even create an entirely new name with a combination of both of their last names. #Trendy
NOT JUST A ONE-STOP-SHOP
Just like when you and your friends head to a bottomless mimosa brunch, it’s important to remind yourself that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It can get pretty overwhelming with all the different paperwork and places you have to notify. The process itself is time-consuming and requires a lot of patience. You have to prepare to spend a good amount checking off all the boxes before completing your name change.
YOU HAVE TO TELL EVERYONE… WE MEAN EVERYONE
You don’t realize how important your name is until you change it. When you do enter this process, you need to notify the Social Security Administration, the IRS and the DMV for your new paperwork and license. You will also need to inform banks, credit card companies, and utility companies. Any documentation- like your passport- will also need to be updated.
You’ll need to get new checks, notify the post office, and update your medical records and insurance. If you have legal documents like a will or trust, you’ll want to look into changing them as well. Employers as well as friends and family members, should also be notified. Insert deep breath here
WHAT TO DO ABOUT KIDS…
If you are not married yet and you’re having a child, the baby will automatically take the mother’s last name unless you as parents request otherwise. If you are travelling alone with children whose last name doesn’t match your own, you might have to provide a notarized letter saying that the child is indeed yours. Having a different last name than your child can make it difficult not just while travelling, but when it comes to doctor’s appointments and schooling.
THERE’S GOOD NEWS
Feeling overwhelmed yet? The good news is you’ve come to the right place. At HitchSwitch, our goal is to simplify this process for you, so you can focus on more important things like bonding with your (not so warm and fuzzy) mother-in-law. With our help, you won’t need to worry about where to start. We take care of gathering which forms you’ll need, showing you how to fill them out, and submitting applications. You can thank us later.