When Do You Need A Deed Poll To Change Your Name?

The assumption often is that when you change your name, for whatever reason, you need a deed poll in order to do it legally. However, although a deed poll is required in some situations, it isn’t in others, and this can lead to confusion. That’s why we’ve put together a short guide on when you do – and don’t – need a deed poll to change your name.

When You Don’t Need A Deed Poll

To make things really simple, here are the times when you can be called something without needing a deed poll to make it legal. They include:

  • Changing your title (ie from Miss to Mrs)
  • Being called a nickname or shortened version of your first name
  • Returning to your maiden name after a divorce
  • When you want to change your surname to a double-barrelled one

When You Do Need A Deed Poll

When it comes to changing your name entirely, rather than simply wanting to be known by a nickname, you will need a deed poll. The examples include:

  • Changing your first name
  • Adding a middle name
  • ‘Meshing’ a surname (instead of double-barrelling, some couples choose to blend their names to make one new name)
  • Taking on a new name after gender reassignment
  • Taking on a new name that is not your maiden name after a divorce
  • Combining your married name with your maiden name after a divorce

The Grey Areas

Of course, as with anything as important as this, there are always going to be grey areas, and that’s why it is crucial that you speak to the experts about whether or not you are going to need a deed poll for the name change you are hoping to carry out. You would speak to IWC Probate Services to get your will right and ensure everything was above board, and you would speak to Fleetwood Heir Hunters to determine whether your claim to an inheritance was legitimate. So speak to someone who knows what they are talking about when it comes to deed polls.

The grey areas you might wish to discuss include:

  • Changing back to your maiden name before your divorce is final. Normally you only need a decree absolute to change your name back to what it used to be, but if your divorce is not yet final you won’t have this document. Although the law does state that you can change your name at any point during the divorce process, banks and other institutes may require evidence, and if you don’t have a decree absolute, you will need to show a deed poll.

When you are sure that you need a deed poll, or you’ve discussed your own situation and determined that you need one, don’t hesitate to get in touch; we can help you through the process.