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Property lawyer, Miranda, Sutherland Shire, Sydney CBD

Why getting your full legal name correct is so important

property property law selling property Oct 04, 2022

As you can imagine, when entering into a legal transaction, whether it be a lease, a contract or a Deed, it is vital that your correct legal name is used.

Whilst it might seem obvious, the reason for this is to ensure that the person named in the documents can be easily identified as the person claiming the rights under the transaction, or indeed that the person is the correct and proper person to enforce obligations against.

You may think to yourself:

“surely there can’t be many people with the same name?” 

The world’s population currently sits at approximately 7.97 billion so the chances are probably higher than you think.  This is why it is so important to use your full and correct legal name.

We are seeing more and more instances of people using one version of their name when in fact their legal name is something different:

  • Missing middles names:  “But I haven’t used it for decades.” 
  • Different first names:  “I’ve always been known by that.  It's what everyone calls me”
  • Extra names: “I’ve always had an issue because my birth certificate doesn’t include my middle name”.

So, what is your legal name? 

For the majority of people it is the one shown on your birth certificate.  This is the name you were given when you were born and was entered on the registry of births.  There are of course times when your legal may name change, such as when you get married, if you change your name legally by Deed Poll or if you are adopted.  In all of these circumstances your new legal name (such as your married name) is recorded by way of a legal document (Marriage Certificate), so there is a legal record of the variation.

Deciding that you don’t like your middle name and omitting it from your drivers licence or bank accounts does not change the fact that your full legal name still includes your middle name, no matter how much you might wish it was so.

So when you are asked to provide your full name, please ensure you provide your full legal name to avoid confusion and issues during the course of your matter.

The importance of recording your correct legal name

There are numerous reasons why it is so important to record your correct legal name:

  • If you sell a property that is recorded in the incorrect name, then there will be difficulties for you when completing the Verification of Identification (VOI) requirements.  In this instance, you may need to either correct the legal title before the property is sold, or complete a statutory declaration to state that you are "one and the same person".
  • If you pass away and the ownership of your asset (such as your home, other real estate or bank account) is not recorded in the correct legal name, then there may be difficulties for your executor in proving that the asset which is recorded in a different name is actually your asset and therefore part of your Estate.

How we can assist

If you are unsure as to whether or not your property interests are recorded in the correct legal name, then we can assist you by obtaining title searches for your properties and, if the properties are held in incorrect names, we can further assist by preparing the necessary paperwork to have the registered name on the title corrected to your proper complete legal name.

Contact the Shire Legal team if you have any questions.

Book a FREE 15 minute consultation

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