How Can I Drop My Married Name If I Am a Widow?

By Ray Davis

Losing your spouse is painstaking enough. You do not want to have problems changing back to your maiden name. There are many reasons you may want to drop your married name after becoming a widow, but it must be legalized. To change your name, you will go through many of the steps as you did when you got married. Unfortunately, this time it will not be such a joyous occasion.

Obtain necessary information about your marriage, death of your spouse and possibly your birth certificate. Most government agencies want to see the original copy. Therefore, the certificates must have a seal on them.

Go to the Social Security office to process your name change. Show them your documents as needed to confirm who you were before your marriage. You also may call the Social Security Administration for more information at (800) 772-1213.

Get a new driver's license or ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Bring your birth certificate, spouse's death certificate, your old driver's license and a piece of mail for address confirmation.

Notify credit card companies, the post office and any other businesses that need updated information relating to your name. This will include your employer as they report to the Internal Revenue Service and will affect your taxes.