Incorrect full name on Will

Hi - I wonder if someone who carries out estate admin would be able to answer on the face of it a simple question.
Will states full name as for example Anne Liann Brown. However, after signing she (years later) she tells you that her name on her birth certificate is actually Anne Leanne Brown.
Should she die with no further Will, would such a Will be admitted to probate with no objections with that ‘error’ in name, but if not what would be impacts of this and what would be the process to correct the error? Presumably the death certificate would be the same name as the birth certificate. Assets could be in either name.
Thanks in advance.

Its not that unusual for the name in the will to differ from the death or birth certificates if only for missing middle names. It can be accommodated within the probate process by including the second name as an alias. the important thing is that if assets are held in both names then both will need to appear on the Grant. ie Anne Leanne Brown also known as Anne Liann Brown

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It’s not often realised that where the person concerned undergoes Confirmation (during their teens?) and adopts another name, their full name incorporates that other name as well as their birth names. I believe (have no chapter and verse on the point) that from that point on, their full name technically is the whole name, and their confirmation certificate probably should be produced in support when completing official documents, including applying for a passport.

What religion are you speaking of? Nobody told me my name changed when I was confirmed at 11.

Roman Catholic. I’m not a religious expert and stand to be corrected.

Surely unless one changes one’s name by deed poll, the added confirmation name does not become part of one’s full name and generally speaking the confirmation certificate is not evidence of a change of name.

Patrick Moroney

PS I have forgotten what my one was and can’t find the certificate!

Julian I am also RC and understood from my confirmation that the extra name was effectively optional. However, I did marry in a RC church and was only asked to provide a baptismal certificate, as was my wife.
Yet I do recall that when I first researched change of name [perhaps mid-late 1970’s?] the Encyclopaedia of Forms & Precedents suggested that to change a “christian” name as opposed to a family name might require a private Act of Parliament …

That would be a great example to demonstrate to students the opposite of “commercial advice”. The client used the wrong name on their will so we popped off to the House of Commons to secure an Act of Parliament…

Andrew. Perhaps only for followers of the Church of England, as the “established” Church? Other religions [christian and other] are available …

That reminds me of an estate I dealt with where the Deceased had an added confirmation name of Attracta…except that in several documents later in her life this was incorrectly spelt and she ended up with “a tractor” in her list of names…fortunately her assets and will did not include her confirmation name.

This must be an English law problem.

In Scots Law, we just give the name and add “otherwise known as ……”

Peter Eager

I think Section 20(1) of the Administration of Justice Act 1982 assists here:


(1)If a court is satisfied that a will is so expressed that it fails to carry out the testator’s intentions, in consequence—

(a)of a clerical error; or

(b)of a failure to understand his instructions,

it may order that the will shall be rectified so as to carry out his intentions.

Very good document here:

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Thanks for that Neil. Very useful synopsis

Over the years, I have seen a number of situations where the name in the will differs from that in which assets are held, or from that on the birth certificate.

Some will have pre-dated the introduction of rectification.

This is usually resolved by an application for an “alias” grant in which the different names are set out.

I am sure that Tristram & Cootes will include guidance on what might be required (it certainly used to) – probably also necessary to make the application on paper rather than on-line.

Paul Saunders FCIB TEP

Independent Trust Consultant

Providing support and advice to fellow professionals

Thanks Paul - one of those where I know there is no ultimate problem but as I haven’t worked on probate for many years I cannot for the life of me remember why!

I once had a client whom it seemed used all her correct names but in the words of Eric Morecambe not necessarily in the right order. All you do is state the true name and the various aliases of the deceased in your application for a grant. The most annoying is when you obtain a grant and then look at the title deeds and the name differs and then you have to apply post grant with an affadavit. I have learnt through bitter experience to always obtain office copy entries if possible before applying for the grant so that there is no delay when the property comes to sell. Also of course check the names of bank accounts etc. I also staple to my draft wills only a note asking the client to check that all names and addresses including their own are correct it does always amaze me the number of wills I have seen where the testator’s name is incorrect. It always makes me wonder about their capacity or literacy levels. Oh dear another long post of musings sorry…

Thanks for your thoughts Claire - love the Eric Morecambe reference: made me laugh out loud!