“What is your name?”
“Heather Coldstream, your honor.”
The Commissioner looks confused.
“Are you the spouse?” she asks.
“Daughter. My name change order is attached as Exhibit A. It matches the name on the will.”
“Ah.” She flips to take a closer look and cocks an eyebrow.
“Is there a surviving spouse?”
“No, your honor.”
She flips through the rest of my Petition for Probate.
“Do you have a copy of the death certificate?”
“Yes, your honor, I do.”
I hand a certified copy to the clerk who passes it to the Commissioner. My new name is on it. She skims it and inserts it into the sheaf.
“Do you have the original will?”
“Yes, your honor, I do.” I pass it forward.
Satisfied, she inserts it and reaches for her stamp.
She signs off and amends a statement.
“I’m going to make a small change here to note that you’ve changed your name. It will have your old name, then ‘now known as’ with your new name.”
She passes the paperwork back.
“Take the Petition upstairs to the Clerk’s office and they will issue the Letters Testamentary.”
“Thank you, your honor.”
We smile at each other, and I thank the universe for the small comfort of not being outed in open court.
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