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I Refuse to Pay Fees to Change My Name!

Even though I didn’t get my donations dropped off [1] in December, I actually did have plans to drop off some stock certificates at my local broker. I planned to sell them in time to take the tax loss [2].

Unfortunately, I hit a road block. I got married. Five years ago.

Changing Your Name on Financial Accounts

For the women out there, you know that changing your name is a daunting task, especially if you have a thriving financial world full of bank accounts, credit cards, and brokerage accounts. Ironically, the credit card companies were easy, and could be taken care of with one phone call. Other companies wanted so much documentation, it wasn’t worth the time and money.

After about a year of working to get all my documentation changed to my married name, I gave up. I decided that I would forever have two names and left my maiden name on about a third of my accounts.

I haven’t had much of a problem. In fact, Fidelity even changed my name on my new solo 401k [3] back to my maiden name, after I filled out all the paperwork using my married name. I tried to explain to them that their records are outdated, but after a 20 minute discussion, I gave up. I wonder which name they’d put on a credit card if I signed up for the Fidelity credit card [4]!

Paying to Change Your Name

I was happily coexisting with my split persona, until my broker informed me I would have to pay a fee to reregister the stock in my name before I could sell them. One of the stocks was 1 share of Pfizer worth only $17. After selling it, I would actually owe them money!

No thanks.

Finding a New Broker

I’m busy looking into cheap online brokers [5] that want to take my certificates with a different last name, without paying a ridiculous fee for each one. I made my short list with brokers that I’m familiar with or already have an account with:

For the record, it was Scottrade [9] where I was trying to deposit the shares. Normally a convenient option, since I have a local branch.

My last resort will be to deposit the shares with the transfer agent, but I was trying to sell them for cheaper.

Also, when you change your name, don’t forget your bank accounts too. Your money might get lost if it’s in your maiden name like mine did. Search the list of unclaimed money by person name [10] to be sure.

Final Thoughts

I would have never thought when writing about Tips to Keep Wedding Costs Down [11], I needed to include the financial considerations of a name change!

If anyone has had a similar problem, I’m all ears on a cheap way to get this fixed. I have more certificates in the future to deal with.