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My FIL's name is spelled one way on his birth certificate and a different way on his social security card. When they did their POA and wills prepared it is spelled to match his birth certificate. But everything else he has such as DL, bank accounts is what shows on his SS card. I am their POA as well as their executor and beneficiary. They have added me to their bank accounts already. My question is, once they pass will their will be valid since spelling of names are different? He now has dementia and she has had a stroke but they are both still able to understand most things if we keep it in simple terms.

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WOMEN SHOULD ALWAYS KEEP MAIDEN NAME WITH GOVERNMENT - I too never changed my S.I.N. just hyphenated it for pay purposes - I've heard of people taking years to sort these things out so I figured if I didn't need to then why open what could be a can of worms

I was able to change my mom's health card to her middle name after much work as she never uses her first name only because her name was so long [over 26 characters] - once when she was taken to hospital from NH after a fall she didn't respond to ER staff - when I got there & said to use her other name then all fell into place - people with dementia don't answer to anything else but usual name

We are all becoming numbers anyway but the name is to insure that number is right or at least that what it seems like
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You may want to go with one spelling across the board. Example: A few years back, my tax agent tried to e-file my tax returns. A no go. He even asked if I ever had a different surname. I did, an ex husband's surname. Then I remarried, went to get my last name changed to the local SS office, but they never did! 25 years later, I had to go back to the SS office and have them finally change my surname.However, my tax agent had to e-file before the tax deadline by USING MY MAIDEN NAME, A NAME I HADN'T USED SINCE 1971.
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My Mother in law who passed at 96 last year had a similar problem. When she was born to first generation Russian Parents at their home the Doctor who was there wrote "Estella" on her birth certificate and her name was "Esther". If you can imagine the accent at the time and who cared that much about Birth certificates in that period of time almost 100 years ago. When she got married she had to defend it by showing showing school records her driving license and anything else she had to show she was an "Esther". The birth certificate was never changed. When she moved to be with us several states away at 92 we did her new trust to comply with our State. (she was mentally fine but going into assisted living near us). The attorney told us to fight this was going to be a losing battle and it would have to go to the court in this State. In the course of the move all her child hood records were lost. So the only thing she could not do once we moved her was vote. She did not have to drive and if we were to get a State ID they would want to see Birth certificate which then could raise questions of fraud with Social Security. It was not worth a fight on our end to get this correct and she just used her old driver license from the State we moved her for ID which had her photo on it. It does not answer your question completely. All her legal documents were valid upon her death and nothing was questioned. Was the Attorney correct I do not know but it was not worth us pursuing the issue has it did not interfere with her care or Doctors, medicare or supplement insurance.
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Hahaha When my mom was young her great Aunt decided Mom's first and middle names should be changed around so that her initials would be the same as GA to match the silver (mom was to inheret). GA had clout in the family and apparently the change was made so her SS and therefore Medicare is all Elizabeth but mom was used to being Sandra (I think she was in grade school when this happened) and liked it so always used it and her licence, probably marriage cert (divorced), bills and everything else legal or not has always been Sandra. Along comes Medicare and her stroke, the first major medical event, which left her with severe aphasia and the inability to speak, lol no one could find her insurance because we kept giving her name as Sandra. We of course figured it out fairly quickly, I remembered the name change story but it took weeks before I could spit out Elizabeth each morning when I got my pass to go see her in the hospital and we had to tell anyone else coming to visit she was under a new name!

Now more to your question jkrystal, this could have been and may still be at some point a little stickier because while she was eventually able to shakily sign her name to documents, she signs Sandra (or Sandy) naturally and for a while there was no way to get her to use Elizabeth without stressing her too much so she was unable. I think there are forms she used E Sandra, some she just signed Sandra and now sometimes she does Elizabeth no one has ever really questioned it other than to be confused when they ask her name and she says Sandra or they ask to see ID and it says Sandra while her Medicare card and SS say Elizabeth. We are fortunate she has a family attorney who handled my grandmother (her mother) estate for many years and knows her, all of us, very well. He came to the rehab center and did all the needed legal paperwork and while I forget if he made the notation that she is "also known as" or some other legal jargon he felt it was covered. We of course also have his back up to say Elizabeth and Sandra are one in the same and that was known to him but so far it hasn't been flagged on paperwork or anything. So I think legally you are fine but if you have an attorney that knows your FIL it might be wise to get something quickly signed and notarized or just a statement from them that your FIL has gone by both spellings and anything with his signature spelling his name either way is legal. My guess is the attny that did the POA and paperwork you have should be able to cover this for you fairly easily. I think this sort of thing was much more common than we think over the years but is becoming less so with everything being computerized now. Computers being far less forgiving or willing to make split second concessions. My brother and I still run into the name thing and have to have someone try the other name, then explain but that's never been an issue. I think another cause of name changes that just became official has always been marriage, I remember our pastor telling me I could just start using my married name and that would make it legal, I never went down to SS to change it.
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The best plan is to NOW make a notarized declaration stating the use of both names - include where he used each name but make a statement saying that the list is not full so that if something else shows it is not restricted to the list - if possible use lawyer who made the will as [s]he will have a vested interest in having this issue cleaned up - if possible have FIL do this or any family member or even yourself

By doing it now not when an issue arises then you are covered - if FIL is capable that would be best - cost should be minimum but peace of mind priceless
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My mother had different birthdates (one day off) on some of her important documents (insurance card, drivers license, etc.) and it did turn out to b a big deal as the hospital asked me to change it to the correct date or they would not process claims. The State would not issue a fishing license until the documents were changed and I had difficulty at the pharmacy getting her medicines. Then I noticed the wrong birthdate on her will. I brought this to the lawyer's attention and although I offered to pay to change it, she changed the document for free.Subsequently, I changed all of the documents to have the correct birthdate. I would get all of the documents with the same spelling of the name. In today's age of so much suspected fraud, you can't be too careful. It is better to be pro-active now even though it is time-consuming and tedious rather than to regret something later.
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Yes, it will all still be legal.
My DH is Ray everywhere except at the VA where he is Houston. Apparently this is very common as around here most if not all go by their middle names instead of their given - don't ask me, I have no idea why.
But the government insists on using the first name and this created a little situation with filling prescriptions at Walmart - so now they just list both names.
But legally, either way is still valid.
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On a whim at 14, I decided to change the spelling of my first name which ended in "y" to "i". It doesn’t match my birth certificate but I have no issues with it. It’s on all my legal records, passport, SS, etc. the only place it had to match was my DL but they let me sign my name with an i. His is so close, I wouldn’t worry either.
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I have a first name as 2 words and no middle name so sometimes only half of my first name is printed. I worry but never encountered problems. There are frequent spaces for alias to be put in applications. One cruise line cannot correct an error and if they did I would lose all of my frequent travel data so I just wait. The only thing I do know is that my TSA pre check has to match my passport but it is not necessary for my drivers license. So from previous posts it is a nuisance but not insurmountable
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Their is Denman or Denmon it's not a big difference. Thanks for the responses!!
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The Army had two different birthdates for my father...
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On my husband's birthday certificate an "n" was left out and not corrected. His SS card has the correct spelling. He was able to get a passport with no problem. Since I have had to deal with Mom's stuff, I have answered questions about if she is known by different spellings. On probate I had to show the differences. I don't think it's a big deal. My name has a space but I find that if I use the space on computer generated forms, they think Jo is my first name and Ann my middle so I stopped using the space.
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Jkrystal, while recently doing my family tree I had noticed many relatives when they came over from the old country had changed their given names, both first names and last names to make the names sound more "American".

On Ancestry I found one piece of Federal paperwork that showed where my Grandmother had changed her first name over to a new first name. But I didn't find any legal paperwork where Grandmother and my Grandfather changed the spelling of their last name.  I am still digging for the family tree.

I never saw my Grandparent's Wills or family trusts, I assume it probably mentioned the name changes.
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How "different" are the two names? An "en" in Olsen as opposed to an "on" as in Olson would probably not be a big deal.

If the names as quite dissimilar, you may need to get the advice of an attorney who can help you. If the birth dates line up as being the same, that's going to help. Do this soon, if FIL is failing mentally, he'd need to be able to sign his own name the "correct" way.

A piece of advice was handed to me 40+ years ago. Decide what your LEGAL name is going to be, get your SS card and ALL id's in that name always. This affects women who take their husband's names more than anyone else, I'd imagine. This has saved me a lot of hassles over the years!
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