Private client

FAQ: Change of name and wills

The Law Society’s Library lists commentary and precedents for when an individual has changed their name and how this impacts on writing a will.

Change of name and wills

Butterworths Wills, Probate and Administrative Service (loose-leaf, 1990- ) states (at para. A2.10) that a testator’s full name should be obtained and it is desirable for the will to record any variations in the name, and particularly in the surname. In the case of a previous surname discarded, such as a woman taking her husband’s name on marriage, this is not necessary.

A note should therefore be made of all the names a testator uses, or has used, including the name that appears on their birth certificate.

Precedent AP[5.8]: Wording for commencement of a will where testator has changed name.

The Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents, Vol. 42(1) Wills and Administration (2011) states (at para. 54) that if the testator has changed his name which could cause doubt or confusion, the former names should be stated. This also applies if the testator has become generally known by a nickname.

Form 55: Commencement of a will where the testator has changed his name.

Record last checked 07 October 2014.

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This FAQ is compiled by the Law Society Library. Comments relating to the questions should be sent to While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

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