Four things that change this October
It's all change for the Minimum Wage, car tax, wills and some local phone calls this October. Here's a quick guide to what's happening.
1. MINIMUM WAGE RISE
The National Minimum Wage rises to £6.50 an hour for adults, up from £6.31, meaning more than one million people are set to see their pay go up by as much as £355 a year. The new rate for 18- to 20-year-olds is £5.13, 16- to 17-year-olds will receive £3.79 and
2. CAR TAX DISCS ARE NO MORE
Motorists will no longer need to display a tax disc on their windscreens. Instead, the DVLA is moving to an electronic-register system that will allow drivers to pay their car tax via direct debit.
Direct Debits will be available from 1 November and motorists will be able to pay their tax on an annual, six-monthly, or monthly basis. Here's what drivers need to know:
- Buying a car
From 1 October, the tax on the vehicle you bought will no longer be transferred with the car – you will need to get new tax before you can drive. This can be bought online, on the phone or via the Post Office using the existing 'New Keeper Supplement' part of the vehicle registration certificate.
- Selling a car
If you sell a car after 1 October and inform the DVLA, you will automatically be refunded for any full calendar months left on the tax that are unused. You will no longer need to make a separate application for a refund of vehicle tax.
- When direct debits won't be available
You won't be able to tax your vehicle via direct debit for
fleet schemes, HGVs or first-registration vehicles.
- How to check the tax status of a vehicle
Visit gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax to check the status of any vehicle.
3. NEW INHERITANCE RULES WHEN SOMEONE DIES WITHOUT A WILL
When someone dies without leaving a will, they are said to have died 'intestate' and their estate is then passed on according to the rules of intestacy. From this month, the rules are changing in England and Wales in the following ways:
- For a married person with no children – their spouse or civil partner will inherit everything. Previously, they would have shared the estate with the deceased's surviving parents and siblings.
- Married person with children – their spouse will inherit the Statutory Legacy of up to £250,000 (as they did previously) but they will now also inherit the deceased's personal belongings and half of their estate automatically. The children then inherit the remaining half share of the estate on trust until they turn 18. Under the old rules, the spouse would only receive the income of the half share of the estate, which would pass on to the children upon their own death.
4. LOCAL PHONE CALLS
People in five areas of the UK will need to include the area code when dialling a local number from their landline, just like they would do when calling from a mobile. It's all to help the regulator create more local area numbers and there will be no change to the cost of calls.
Which areas are affected?
- Aberdeen (01224): Includes Aberdeen and the area to the west, including towns such as Westhill.
- Bradford (01274): Includes Bradford and the surrounding areas such as Baildon, Bingley, Cleckheaton and Shipley.
- Brighton (01273): Includes Brighton and Hove, as well as places such as Lewes, Newhaven, Peacehaven and Southwick.
- Middlesbrough (01642): Includes Middlesbrough and surrounding places such as Stockton, Redcar, Stokesley and Yarm.
- Milton Keynes (01908): Includes Milton Keynes, Bletchley, Newport Pagnell and an area to the north as far as Ravenstone.
If you die without making a will, your estate will be divided up and distributed according to a set of complicated procedures laid down by the law as set out in the Administration of Estates Act 1925. The more complicated your life, the more complicated the intestacy laws after your death. Given that 60% of registered deaths last year were intestate, according to Title Research, the only way to ensure your estate is divided according to your wishes is to make a will.
Everything you own: all your assets (property, cars, investments, savings, insurance payouts, artwork, furniture etc) minus any liabilities (debts, current bills, payments still owed on assets like cars and houses, credit card balances and other outstanding loans). When you’re alive this is called your wealth; when you’re dead, it becomes your estate.