Edward Koch was the mayor of New York for three terms, and many people may not be aware of the fact that he also served as a congressman from New York.
Koch died in February at the age of 88, and according to sources the value of the estate that he left behind was somewhere between $10 million and $11 million.
When you have assets in this range you have to concern yourself with the realities of the federal estate tax. Here in Oklahoma we don’t have a state level estate tax, but in New York there is in fact a state estate tax. As a result the heirs to the Koch estate have to deal with these two levels of taxation – federal estate tax and New York’s separate estate tax.
His closest relative was apparently his sister because he was never married and he was childless. According to an article in Forbes Koch left his sister and her husband $500,000, but most of his resources were bequeathed to his nephews.
Since Ed Koch was 88 his sibling would probably be passing along her assets to her children in the relatively near future. So, by giving the assets to his sister’s children directly a round of potential taxation was avoided, and this was a good move from an estate planning perspective.
Without question, if you are a person of means you would do well to seek legal counsel when you are planning your estate. If you do not take steps to gain tax efficiency it could wind up costing your loved ones a significant sum of money.
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Parman & Easterday
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