We are currently in the middle of wedding season. I get tons of questions regarding the importance of "name-change" from January to March. Historically, the focus of weddings are usually centered around the dress, colors, flowers, dinner choices, dj, venues, and place settings. However by not following through on a name change can result in havoc come tax time due to delays, oversight and errors. A great bookkeeper always owns checklists and here is my checklist of things I would immediately do to tackle a name-change within ten days of marriage.
Marriage License and Marriage Certificate: Both are vital to the name changing process.
Driver's License or State ID card: You will need the Marriage Certificate to usher this process along.
Social Security Card: You will need your ID and the Marriage License.
Mail: Change of address form is necessary so your mail continues to go to your maiden and married name.
Vehicle: Update your title, lien holder and your insurance provider.
Health: Medical records and allowing your spouse to have access to them.
Human Resources: Update your W-4 form, deductions, name badge and stationary.
Passport: If you travel frequently, make sure your forms of ID match.
Bank Accounts, Credit Cards and Investment- Make sure all of the documents and cards have the correct name and signature to match up with your ID.
Bills/Rent/Loans: This ensures that payments are credited correctly to the accounts.
Taxes: Update your info with the Social Security Administration and the IRS within 10 days of each other. You may want to apply for a new social security card as well.
Wills and Testaments: Make sure to include your spouse as well as update your name.
Voter Registration: States have their own requirements. Be sure to check in with your local election board.
Always remember that a little preparation and planning comes a long way come tax time in the first quarter of the New Year!