Should You Change Your Last Name?

When I was little I always said I would never change my last name. Honestly, I have a pretty sweet last name. BOLT. It’s short, even, strong and even though carry out normally thinks I’m saying “Volt,” even that isn’t a bad last name to be mistaken for.

Jacob’s last name is Black. His name sounds great and I think mine does as well. I’ve built a little brand about my name, have a lightning bolt tattoo and it’s been my name for the last 25 years. So, do I change it?

Nicole + Jacob

Why I Want To Change My Name

Jacob doesn’t have a strong connection to his paternal side and has never been close to anyone with the last name Black. I’ve been thinking about that more and more lately but it really is hard for me to imagine because I am so close with my family. I want Jacob to have that same connection to someone with his last name.

I love the idea of being a unit and sharing our last name. I know we’re a unit without a name declaring that we are, but the idea is nice. He has said that he doesn’t care if I change it or not and I know he truly doesn’t, so there isn’t any pressure to.

Why I Don’t Want to Change my Name

If I do change my name, it won’t be for awhile. I am an expert-level procrastinator and no one can avoid paperwork better than me. I will get envelopes marked as URGENT in the mail and neglect opening them. If you change your name, you have to update:

  • Social Security Card
  • DMV
  • Bank Accounts, credit cards, bills/utilities
  • Work information/payroll
  • Post office
  • Loan information
  • ALL of your insurance information (car, renters/homeowner, life insurance)
  • Doctor’s office (because of said insurance)
  • Voter registration
  • Airlines (because your name will be different on your ticket you need to update your account and make sure miles roll over)

You need to change your WHOLE identity. Paperwork aside, it’s daunting. I feel like everything I’ve established is just sort of…gone. Even though I know it’s not, I can’t help but feel that way.

My brother and I are the last two on our branch of the family tree with the last name Bolt. It seems strange to think that I would leave that behind. I remember when we did Ellis Island day in elementary school and we tried to figure out how our family got to the US and if our names were changed upon arrival. I’ve had so many people ask me what Bolt was short for and the answer is, nothing. It has been Bolt for as far back as we can trace it.

The Verdict

I have some travel post wedding including a trip to Mexico in the spring and if we’re being honest, I simply know it just wouldn’t get done in time. To avoid the stress, I’m not going to make any decisions until after that point.

I’ve read a ton of articles over the last year or so about it, so I’ll share some of my favorites below if you care to read those as well:

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