About 10 years ago, a purveyor of tobacco-related retail products was seeking advice about an estate plan. His store was a family-owned business, established and run by him and his wife. The sales staff had expanded when their son joined them. The couple had always assumed they'd hand down their business through the generations.

The owners thought estate planning wouldn't take much - a simple, clear plan would smoothly chart a path for both the family's financial security and the eventual transfer of business ownership to the son and the son's children.

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