So I am going through the process of changing my name legally, and find this right off the bat on Yahoo:
“In principle, name changing is easy. In practice, it’s a pain in the moniker. According to the legal self-help gurus at Nolo, in most U.S. states, you can simply change your name by using a new one.”
Uh, say what? I just go by it, and poof, it’s legal.
Not so fast, there Eli, you have some steps to go through:
1 Contact a local attorney to get information about the procedure for name changing in your state.
2 Consider handling the process yourself. Often no court appearance is needed.
3 Contact your city hall to find out which court handles this in your state. You could also visit your local law library or check out your state’s laws online.
4 File the necessary papers and pay any filing fees.
5 Realize that there usually is a publication requirement when doing a name change. You may have to purchase a small ad in a local paper that states you’re legally changing your name. This alerts any creditors or claimants against you.
6 Choose a name that you like and that is relatively easy to spell.
7 Realize that the court is most likely to approve the name change if you can offer a good reason. A good reason may be to shorten a long name, distance yourself from an abusive family or legalize a performance name that you’ve been using.
8 Give copies of the judgment or order you receive from the court to all creditors, licensing bureaus, employers, banks and tax agencies to request that your name be changed in their records.
Wikihow also has a good step-by-step name change checklist here.
Then, I have steps to go through in both Ma (where I currently reside) and IL (where I was born).
Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli