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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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After being divorced for 20 years, I recently got remarried.

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After being divorced for 20 years, I recently got remarried. I have had the same last name (of my ex-husband) for 40 years. I never liked my maiden name and also kept my married name to make it easier for my kids who are now grown and married. I really want to be known as Mrs. Smith; however at the age of 63, there are so many things to change - bank accounts, driver's license, investments, mortgage, insurance, credit cards, long term care policy, retirement benefits, etc. Would it make sense to just legally keep the name I've had all these years, but as far as anyone knows, I AM Mrs. Smith?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

This is completely up to you. Actually, believe it or not, changing documents when one gets married is not difficult at all. Once you remarry, you can change your name on your SSN and Ca. driver license very easily.

SSN - see here.

Ca. Driver's License - see here.

The other government agencies are similar, as are private entities. It almost always requires:

1) A cover letter;
2) Proof of marriage; and possibly
3) A form from the entity to fill out.

Many people change their names all the time; it is not difficult. If a record does not get changed, you would STILL be recognized as that person for that matter, so there is no "fear" of losing something by forgetting to change it.

OR, one can simply keep the name they they had when entering marriage. It is your choice.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So if I don't change it legally, will I still be able to be recognized as my husband's wife in the event of a hospital stay, benefits, death, etc.? I'm so confused. There are so many things to change.
Cheryl,

So if I don't change it legally, will I still be able to be recognized as my husband's wife in the event of a hospital stay, benefits, death, etc.? I'm so confused. There are so many things to change.

ABSOLUTELY. The changing (or not changing) of one's name has no effect on their legal rights as a spouse.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
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