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Dear Wendy

Name Change Mess

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This topic contains 89 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by avatar carolann 11 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 73 through 84 (of 90 total)
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  • #696134 Reply

    That’s an interesting perspective, Fyodor, and it might have some validity, since the inheritance question didn’t come on board until after the first post so it doesn’t seem foremost.

    Still a lot of doesn’t make sense. The LW says that she has recently come to regard herself as a feminist and that she lives in a distinctly non-feminist part of the country. I don’t think she ever said whether or not her fiancé is basically feminist in outlook. He might be, but the general ethos of the region she describes is that the wife should submit to the husband’s duty to make proper decisions on behalf of all the family. If that is the fiancé’s mindset, then the question of whether or not he is happy with her keeping, in part, her birth surname is just the tip of the iceberg and the least of her problems. If he doesn’t share her feminist perspective, then they just aren’t a good match.

    On the inheritance: I’m totally confused, because I think LW is confused and badly in need of taking the actual wording of whatever inheritance covenant covers the property and sitting down with a lawyer. I can’t even tell whose right to inherit she is concerned with.

    Here is my logic on the property, based on what she’s said:

    Let’s assume that the magic surname is Fanshaw and her fiancé’s surname is Dreck. Let’s assume that her grandparents now control the property. In that case, assuming the normal male pre-deceasing his wife, just for simplicity (and this isn’t what has happened in my family, but whatever):
    — grandfather dies, grandmother is a Fanshaw and inherits
    — grandmother dies, father inherits
    — father dies, mother who is a Fanshaw by marriage inherits
    — mother dies, LW’s brother and his wife inherit
    — brother dies, his wife, a Fanshaw by marriage inherits
    — brother’s wife dies, assuming no kids, then LW might inherit
    I say might, because that will depend upon whether or not the court accepts a last name of Fanshaw Dreck, unhyphenated as meeting the Fanshaw requirement — it may not matter — who else is a possible inheritor
    — LW dies, possibly one of her children inherits, if they have been given and kept the unhyphenated Fanshaw Dreck surname and that is deemed to satisfy the surname requirement — the question is also, who else could possibly inherit? Would LW want a daughter to be left out, because she married Mr. Smith and didn’t choose to have the surname Fanshaw Dreck Smith?

    Does it really matter if the property is sold at that point. How likely is it that her son, if she has one, will retain the Fanshaw Dreck surname, or drop the Dreck AND is interested in either living in the house or renting it from a distance, i.e. how likely is he to continue to reside in the vicinity of this house and property.

    With all these considerations, it seems the question of the house is far in the future, with so many unknowable future facts, that it is a bit of a red herring.

    So, if you want to remain Sarah Elizabeth Fanshaw or partially take your fiancé’s name s Sarah Elizabeth Fanshaw Dreck, then just do it, BUT don’t marry this guy if you’re a feminist and he’s a traditionalist ‘the wife must obey the husband’ evangelical fundamentalist background.

    #696140 Reply

    I don’t know what is going through her head but there is a ton of shade thrown at her new fiancé’s family, social status, and name in a pretty short period of time. It is impossible that we are aware of her contempt for her fiance’s background and that he isn’t acutely conscious of it.

    #696730 Reply

    So this was an interesting read…

    I think @Ron picked up on a pretty interesting point, which is that the issue of inheritance wasn’t brought up at all in the first post. Then again, her initial question was about whether she should change back to her maiden name before the wedding, she just also decided to unload about her husband. I also think @Fyodor is on to something too… you seem to have little or no respect for your husband’s family which is troubling.

    Honestly, the inheritance issue seems like a red herring. Are you honestly telling me, that if you brother inherited the property, he couldn’t overrule the (obviously male-heir biased) inheritance law? I’m not a lawyer, but it seems insane that a rule your great-great-grandfather imposed is impossible to remove? That can’t possibly be the case. Anyway…

    It’s been pretty well established that you can and should do what you want with your name – it’s your name. The issue here is your kids’ names. I can’t imagine a scenario where a man who is this upset that his wife isn’t take ONLY his name, will somehow be OK if his children don’t either… Do you really think this is going to be resolved in a permanent way before September? Even if he agrees now, I can almost guarantee that this will be a chip in his shoulder and he’s going to try to back out of it when you’re pregnant or at the hospital.

    Summary: You don’t respect his family (and by some extension him). He doesn’t respect your right to your own name. These problems aren’t going to be solved by September. I think this marriage is doomed.

    #696811 Reply

    My mother kept her maiden name, my father kept his last name, and they named my brother and me after the most English (American) sounding city closest to the major US city they were born in. So growing up, we had 3 different last names in a 4 person family. It was never an issue, and always a highly amusing tale when someone called the house, heard the answering machine, and inevitably got confused: “You’ve reached the [maiden name]/[fraternal name]/[‘MERICA name] residence, please leave a message!”
    I’ve never had any issues applying for legal documents–driver’s license, passport, etc–filling out tax forms, or dealing with medical bills.

    When I got married a couple years ago, my husband was from the South and had never heard of a woman keeping her last name. I like the funny history behind mind, was an established professional, and straight up didn’t like his last name either. After the wedding, he told me it was “disrespectful to the man for a woman not to change her last name,” and “you don’t even have a real last name anyway.”
    In retrospect, this was one red flag in a series of many. We are now (thankfully) divorced.
    But I am still the proud bearer of my last name. 🙂

    #696820 Reply

    I have to wonder how that inheritance rule would hold up if the owner of the property died without a will. I assume the property would be inherited following the inheritance laws of the state where it is located and states don’t have laws about last names and inheritance.

    #696822 Reply

    I agree Sky, the only thing I can think is if the property is held in some kind of wacky trust. I really hope she gives us an update.

    #696827 Reply
    Northern Star

    I’m still curious as to why she didn’t change her name when she got divorced.

    #696832 Reply

    @bnwsea, that’s really interesting how you got your last name! Glad you kept it.

    #696906 Reply

    Yeah, i was tuning about this and I’m not really understanding how it works. It doesn’t sound like a true inheritance because the current owner has no control over what to do with it. They can’t sell or give it to someone else? They can’t specify in their own will that it goes to who they want? It’s forever under the control of the original will?

    #696912 Reply

    I’m assuming that whoever started this family inheritance rule put in a clause that said that if you accepted the property you agreed to only leave it to someone with the family name and to require the same family name rule of them. I’m guessing that if you accept the property you accept the inheritance rules and if you don’t agree to the rules you don’t get the property.

    Even if you agree to all of that but didn’t write a will including that property I think the inheritance would revert to state inheritance laws but you would definitely need to talk to a lawyer.

    #696914 Reply

    Yeah, we have some weird property inheritance stuff in my family and my understanding is something like yours, Skyblossom. Though the inheritance rules in my family are different and not based on last name…

    #696916 Reply

    The LW needs to talk to a lawyer about the inheritance. Would a two name last name count. She isn’t going to want to be in a position where a third cousin with the required name takes her to court because she doesn’t have the correct name. She should also see what would legally happen if the owner of the property doesn’t include it in a will. If it isn’t mentioned in a will does the inheritance follow state inheritance laws. That might be the way to escape from the inheritance rule. In the end does she love the property enough that she wants to own it. Would it be better to let it be sold and then split the money from it.

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