And by that we mean, he was only 13 hours away from 2010, when the estate tax expired.
Fritz Lohman of New York died at 11 am on December 31, just barely missing the opportunity to save his heir millions in taxes:

Lohman, 87, a SoHo real-estate magnate who pioneered the exhibition of gay art, died at home at about 11 a.m. on New Year’s Eve after a long illness. If he had instead passed away after midnight Jan.1, his partner of 48 years could have avoided paying at least $3 million in estate taxes — thanks to Congress letting that levy lapse for 2010.

For you populists out there, you could probably give a rat’s ass about but jesus, that just sucks. Thirteen hours. That’s shorter than some Law & Order marathons.
Dying 13 hrs. too soon cost $3 mil in taxes [NYP]