Must a Will be changed to show a woman’s new surname after marriage?

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Must a Will be changed to show a woman’s new surname after marriage?

My wife and I had our Wills drawn up 2 years before we married. At that time my wife had retained her previous married name. We’ve been in a relationship for over 20 years and don’t wish to make any changes.

Asked on July 28, 2011 New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No. A Will does not have to be changed to show a woman's new surname after marriage to still be valid to give something to that woman regardless of whether or not she has a new name or not as long as the person who is receiving the gift is the person intended to get that what is given under a Will.

Your wife was also known under a maiden name. She is still the same person regardless of the maiden name or current name she uses. As long as you intend that she receives what you want to give her, it does not matter what name is listed in the Will.

You could always do a holographic amendment to your Will in your own handwriting stating your wife's current and maiden name as being one and the same and incorporate the prior Wills by reference if that makes you feel better.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption