Change of Name Deeds and Statutory DeclarationsHeather Arnold
Change of Name Deeds
There are many reasons for wishing to change your name. The most common reasons for a change of name that we encounter are:-
- Your marriage has broken down and you wish to formally change your name;
- You are transgender and want your legal name to match the name that you are otherwise known by. However, please do note that a change of name deed does not change your gender and a Gender Recognition Certificate will be required for this;
- You no longer associate with your family surname or birth name or you dislike your name and wish to change your name to reflect your own wishes;
- You have married and wish to have a ‘blended’ or different surname than your spouse’s name;
- Your name was registered incorrectly on your birth certificate and you wish to have this formally corrected;
- To change or correct the spelling of your name; or
- You wish to identify with or fit in with another culture, country or religion.
There are of course many other reasons why you may wish to change your name and you are also not limited to just a change of surname. You can change any part of your name should you wish to do so, provided that it is not for illegal or immoral purposes.
If you are over the age of 18, you can change your name at any time. We will prepare a Change of Name Deed, which will specify your new name and once this Deed has been signed, witnessed and dated, your name will officially be changed. You will then be able to provide copies of your Change of Name Deed to organisations such as the passport office, DVLA, NHS etc. and your name can be updated on your official documents.
If you are aged 16 or 17 and wish to change your name, you can do so by way of a Change of Name Deed, as described above, without your parent’s consent, so long as you are not subject to a Child Arrangements Order, Residence Order, Special Guardianship Order, Care Order or interim Care Order. If you are subject to one of these Orders, we will need to obtain the consent of everyone with parental responsibility for you.
If you wish to change the name of a child under the age of 16, a Change of Name Deed will still be required, however the Deed will either need to be signed by everyone with parental responsibility, or the others will need to give their consent, with you signing the Deed on the child’s behalf. If you are the only person with parental responsibility, no further consents will be required and you will simply need to sign the Change of Name Deed on behalf of your child.
What is a Statutory Declaration?
A Statutory Declaration is a statement of fact that is generally signed in the presence of a Solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths. A Statutory Declaration can be required for many different reasons; however, they are most commonly required for a change of name or for marriages abroad.
Change of Name
As discussed above, a change of name is generally done by way of a Change of Name Deed. However, in some circumstances, a Statutory Declaration will be required instead. Examples are when your name was registered incorrectly at birth, or where your change of name requires some further explanation to ensure that there is a proper paper trail, such as where you have been known by a name that is different to your legal name for some time.
We will prepare the Statutory Declaration on your behalf and you will then need to sign the Declaration and ‘swear’ it in front of an independent Solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths.
If you are due to marry abroad, most countries require a Statutory Declaration to state that you are free to marry before you enter the country.
Your travel agent should be able to advise you on the specific requirements of the country in which you are getting married and provide you with an example of the document required by that country. We will then be able to prepare the Statutory Declaration to meet the specific requirements of that country and this will then be signed by you and ‘sworn’ in front of an independent Solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths.
If you would like to discuss the preparation of a Change of Name Deed or Statutory Declaration, please do not hesitate to contact Heather Arnold in our family department on 01782 652379 or firstname.lastname@example.org who will be pleased to assist you.