WARNING TO SUMMER BRIDES: 6 CRITICAL STEPS YOU NEED TO TAKE IF YOU PLAN TO CHANGE YOUR NAME
The wedding is approaching, or just behind you. Before you go writing checks you can’t cash, or booking that honeymoon in the married name, here are 6 important steps you need to take to save time, money, and convenience down the road.
1. Banking – Before checks are made out in a brides newly married name, brides should file for their new social security card and bring it along with their new license/ID in their name and their certified marriage certificate to change their name on their bank account(s) or open a joint account with their spouse in their new name.
2. Credit Reports – Many brides are curious about what happens to their credit when they change their names. You DO NOT need to notify the 3 main credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experion) when you change your name. When you update your name with creditors (bank, credit cards, etc…) the bureaus will add the new name to your account, but they will also keep your maiden name on file too. This ensures that your established credit remains with you even as your name changes.
3. IRAs - Couples need to add each other to the IRAs as beneficiaries and make sure to use the name(s) taken post marriage.
4. Taxes - A woman's name must be changed legally before it can be listed as a new name on her taxes. She must file for her name change with Social Security, using the SS-5 form. If a couple is married prior to December 31st, they can file jointly on their taxes. File the IRS 8822 form to ensure that they are aware of the new name. Note: if the IRS is not informed of the bride’s name change prior to tax season, but she has been paid in her married name, they will hold her returns until they can verify her legal name. If the bride is paid in her married name, but has not legally changed it with the Social Security/IRS, there can be major snags in tax returns as well as social security benefits/payouts.
5. Honeymoon Flights – If the bride or spouse books flights for the honeymoon in the married name, but the driver’s license and/or passport has not been updated, most airlines will require the ticket to be repurchased in the maiden name without a refund. Take the time to get your name changed properly.
6. Change Your Name Properly - You could wait in line for hours and file mountains of paperwork, and there is also a lot of misleading information out there about how to change your name when you get married. MissNowMrs.com, the first and leading name change site for brides-to-be, cuts down more than 13 hours of paperwork and costs only $29.95. And, if you know a bride-to-be you can pick up a MissNowMrs.com card at your local Rite Aid store. It’s the perfect budget and time-saving wedding gift -- every time she writes her name she’ll remember you!