What’s in a Name? Betty When You Call Me, You Can Call Me Al.

What’s in a Name? Betty When You Call Me, You Can Call Me Al.

(c) Universal Publishing Group

What’s in a Name? So, His name is Paul Simon – but he says to Betty, she can call him Al.

In England, if we want to, we can wake up in the morning and decide what our new name is. And tomorrow something new. [Maybe we have a friend who is Eric in the week and Gloria at the weekends?]

Anyway, my point is, we have a freedom to change our names. Of course, this can baffle computers and the tax man, and the systems which surround us all depending upon names and passwords.

The Banks won’t give you back your money, not if you paid it in when you were Mr. A and now you are Mr. B and tomorrow Mr. C. So by and large most people in England stick with the name they were given at birth.

Or if they do change their names, they tend to document the change by creating a written Change of Name Deed often called a Deed Poll. Except, illogically, after marriage. I suppose that, because it is so normal in Britain that a bride changes her surname to that of the groom, no deed poll is usually considered necessary.

And to digress, yesterday was a first for me, when a client asked me to prepare and notarise a Deed Poll changing her surname to that of her partner because as she said, “It’s a lot cheaper than getting married”. Logical thinking, but really? Wow.

(I did advise her that she and her partner should make wills. They may have the same surname now, but they are not married and after death the law will not treat them as a special case.)

But even when we don’t change our names, we still treat them rather casually.

James Smith is likely Jim Smith. Howard John Bloggs is likely John Bloggs.

I am Christopher Hugh Patrick Atkinson – just call me Christopher Hugh Patrick. No, seriously, call me Chris.

And what of the little boy named James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree, in AA Milne’s poem Disobedience? By the end of the poem, we have given up, and just call him “J.J.M.M.W.G. Du. P.” for short!  Link Here.

Even if you are a previous President of the USA and named George Walker Bush, it seems everyone will call you George W. Bush. At best.

So what’s my point?

It is to draw your attention to the issues that can arise from all this.

I have lost count of the number of times I am presented with University Degrees to notarise, where the University has not written the full name of the successful candidate. After you’ve been studying there for three or four years and paying all the fees, still they haven’t written your full name? Unbelievable.

So this week the Consulate of the People’s Republic of China is rejecting all documentation submitted to it which shows the slightest discrepancy in the ways in which the applicant’s name is written.

For example, in my case alone – and this is happening to all the applications received there – rejections include a man wishing to marry in China and a second man wishing to live in China to take up a teaching post there.

In the marriage case, his Register Office certificate of freedom to marry includes all his names as per his birth certificate. For no known reason, his passport has omitted one of his forenames. Result – Rejection.

In the teaching case, the man’s university degree has omitted one of his forenames which but that is included in his passport name. Result – Rejection.

If this happens to you, then like Bob the Builder, I can fix it.

But I cannot fix the loss of money, in wedding postponement, in delay in taking up employment, lost flights, nor the general frustration and waste of time.

The moral may be, from now on, treat your name as you would your email address. We all understand that an email must be precise and always the same. Otherwise it won’t work. So check your birth certificate against your passport and your names on Bank accounts and share certificates and degrees and driving licence and everything you have. And if you see discrepancies, missed names, alternative spellings, whatever, get it all sorted out.  It may save you a lot of wasted time and money if you do.

And just to add, it’s a whole other story if this sort of discrepancy becomes apparent after someone has died. And sometimes, even Bob can’t fix that for the disappointed beneficiaries and dependents.

Here is the song Link Here

So, for PR China problems, or as ever, for documents for use around the world do contact me or Louise here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email notary@atkinsonnotary.com or via the website http://www.atkinsonnotary.com