Happy New Year! It’s that time of year for resolutions and I have resolved to finally get all my identity documents into one name. Sounds simple right? Get married, change name, sort out your drivers licence and Medicare card once you get your marriage certificate, done. Trust me, its not that simple, and it’s not until you go to vote and find out you haven’t updated your name on the electoral role that you start thinking about all those other things you forgot!
While this sounds like a fairly minor issue that can be easily sorted out, as a solicitor who is required to verify a person’s identity for property transactions or estate administration, even a slight misspelling of a name on a document can make a relatively minor task a lot more complex.
I recently had a client ask me to prepare a will for him. It was going to be straightforward until it came to light that the name on his drivers’ licence was spelt incorrectly. He had always used the spelling of his name that his mother had taught him as a child, but turns out that Dad was the one that lodged the paperwork for the birth certificate and he couldn’t spell! The property owned by this person was registered in the name listed on the birth certificate, the same name as his passport, but it did not match the name on his drivers licence, Medicare card or bank accounts. Something like this can become a huge problem when dealing with the property in future due to the strict verification of identity requirements or when trying to administer a deceased persons estate.
So if anyone out there has changed their name or the spelling of their name is different on multiple forms of ID, get it sorted now. It’s relatively to simple to lodge a form when you are here to sign the change of name declaration, it’s not so simple when an executor is trying to sort it all out later. K.C. Hilton, WNB Legal.