Getting names right in a will

I am getting ready to have my first will prepared. My net worth isn’t much to get excited about, and that alone has kept me procrastinating for several years on just getting it done. But I really should, because however modest the numbers, one of my children is technically my step-child and it’s important to me that she is treated the same as my children by birth/biology. I owe her the effort of setting things up properly to make official in law what has always been official in my heart.

So I need to set up a living trust. What’s holding me up now is Kid-3’s transition, which will trigger a legal name change at some point. I’m hoping I can prepare it with current names, and then Kid can later show legal name change documents and it it will not cause any issues down the line. Or should I wait until Kid-3 makes up her mind, so it’s right the first time?

8 Likes

Ok, so I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is that names aren’t that important as long as it is clear who the beneficiary is and they can provide proof of former name. Names change for lots of reasons. A concern might be dead naming causing issues? But I’m sure you could change it later to reflect the transition?

4 Likes

When we did ours we weren’t sure if we were done having kids yet but there was language that still allowed for future kids. I’ll try to take a look later to see if it helps. PDM is correct though. (Phones posting)

2 Likes

OK I had a chance to look and the language I was thinking of wasn’t there. I do know at one point I was asking if we needed to amend our will if life circumstances changed and I was advised to just completely do a new one, the new one would supersede the previous one. Doing a second will with just a name change should be pretty simple (as wills go), you’d just need to get them executed again. In my case that meant my signature, two witnesses, and a notary. I would strongly recommend doing all the paperwork now even though it means doing a second round later.

In case this is helpful in getting things signed - the Legal department at my work was happy to help out during a quiet afternoon, I just walked over and the notary got a couple of volunteers to be witnesses and we just sat around a conference table signing stuff for I want to say fifteen minutes.

Disclaimer - this was just for a will, setting up a trust is a different thing which we did not do since it didn’t make sense for our situation. We did wills (for me and Mr. Meer), power of attorney, and healthcare power of attorney.

2 Likes