Our Commitment to you as an Elder Law and Estate Planning Law Firm
Our motto is “WE BUILD PLANS THAT WORK.”
Whether you need an Elder Law plan to protect your hard-earned savings in your later years, an Estate Plan to develop a seamless transfer of your wealth to your family, reduce estate taxes, Special Needs plans to provide quality support for disabled loved ones, or asset protection against litigants, creditors, and predators in Elmira and throughout Chemung, Steuben and Schuyler Counties, NY, our plans are at the cutting edge of our profession.
We strive to be ahead of our peers in legal knowledge and technology in order to provide our clients with highest quality legal counsel in the area. You and your loved ones deserve the best legal representation possible, whether in a time of crisis or if you are planning for the future.
Once a new client has met with us for their Elder Law or Estate Planning needs, they often comment on the thorough job we do. In working with our firm, you will see the dramatic results of our information gathering, communication, technology and strategies we use to resolve your legal needs in the most efficient and practical manner.
Our Elder Law and Estate Planning Qualifications
Donald W Mustico’s educational and professional background has given him the tools necessary to provide exceptional Elder Law and Estate Planning legal counsel. With an undergraduate background in accounting, Don worked in the tax department of the world’s largest accounting firm after graduating from law school. This complex and prestigious tax and accounting environment taught him how to approach legal problems in a pragmatic and analytical manner; a departure from the standard legal approach to problem solving taught in law school. Don has also worked in a large-firm environment where he developed legal and tax planning techniques for large high-net-worth clients and larger estates. While it isn’t necessary for you to have a large estate to utilize estate planning, this depth of knowledge brings advantages to people at every level of wealth.
In the mid to late 1980’s, a new field of law was developing devoted to providing estate and long-term-care planning for seniors. This new field of law eventually became known as Elder Law and has developed into the specialized field of law we know today. In particular, this field of law was designed to protect seniors should they or their spouse need long-term care. Without the proper protections in place, your savings could be completely consumed and your home could be at risk if long-term care in a nursing home ever becomes necessary.
Don has a passion for working with seniors and their families to preserve and protect assets while planning to get them the best in long-term care. The skills he has developed as a CPA and tax lawyer became valuable tools that make him an exceptional Elder Law Attorney.
Over the last three decades, the field of Elder Law has become more and more sophisticated in response to federal and state government efforts to curtail asset protection efforts taken by seniors who were trying to save their homes and life savings. The “bar was raised” on the technical skills and expertise needed to properly counsel clients on Elder Law needs. Out of necessity, the practice of Elder Law has been elevated to the same degree of sophistication needed to service high-net-worth clients. Many of the techniques used in asset protection planning for seniors involves the same trust and tax planning techniques used for high-net-worth clients with much larger estates.
As a CPA and Tax Lawyer trained in the area of trusts and sophisticated estate planning techniques, Don felt he could offer cutting-edge techniques to senior clients that the majority of other Elder Law attorneys did not possess.
Our Approach to Elder Law, Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning, Business Law, Tax Planning and Probate
You may come in with pre-conceived notions or misinformation about your unique situation. This information is often provided by family members, friends, your old lawyer with no expertise in Elder Law, bankers, financial advisors, or accountants, despite their best intentions.
Consequently, our first step is to fully understand your unique situation and legal needs. We then start fresh, offering you a general idea of your problem, the obstacles before you, and the various techniques which may be part of your solution.
Don personally spends a substantial amount of time with each client and believes that personal contact is critical to successful Elder Law planning.
What may seem to be an overwhelming problem is often just a cluster of smaller problems that have snowballed. We try to break the “big” problem down into its smaller pieces where each can be dealt with independently and more efficiently. This allows you to see the progress made over small obstacles as we proceed with expert Elder Law planning.
As an Elder Law attorney, Don takes a wholistic approach in advising his clients. A single Elder Law engagement may involve estate planning, financial planning, tax law, health care decisions, Medicare, and Medicaid and VA benefits planning, all through the lens of understanding your unique family dynamics.