In addition to practicing law Don is also a Certified Public Accountant. While serving four years in the US Air Force, Don married his wife Judy and in 1970 together they headed off to the University of Notre Dame on the adventure of their (or at lease Don’s) lifetime — “Go Irish”. With Judy pushing Don all the way he graduated “magna cum laude” from the University of Notre Dame in 1972 with a degree in Accounting from the Business School, having received the Indiana Association of Certifies Public Accounts award as the Outstanding Senior Accounting Student in the graduating Class of 1972. With Judy’s support, Don then went on to Notre Dame Law School graduating in 1975. Following law school Don was hired by the international accounting firm, Coopers & Lybrand CPA, which at the time was the largest public accounting firm in the world, to work in their Tax Department. Don and Judy eventually returned to Don’s birth place, Elmira, NY, to be closer to family and to work with his uncle, Louis J. Mustico, Esq., a prominent Elmira Attorney who was a Partner with the Personius, Mustico, Sullivan and Prechtl Law Firm. In 1981 Don later established his own Law Firm and CPA office in Elmira. With the help of a great staff working for him, Don practiced law and accounting as a solo practitioner for 16 years until he merged his practice into the Ziff Law Firm in 1997. In 2008 Don returned to private practice in his current firm as it now exists.
As mentioned, Don is a veteran of the US Air Force and an accredited attorney with the Veterans Administration. Don’s primarily specializes in Estate Planning, Elder Law, Special Needs Planning, and Estate, Probate and Trust Administration, however his strong background in accounting and tax law give him unique skills that few other Estate and Elder Law lawyer possess. These skills allow him also to practice in the areas of Business Formation and Acquisitions; Business Succession Planning, Individual, Corporate, Entity, Estate and Trust Taxation and Financial and Retirement Planning.
Don has been married to his wife Judy for over 50 years. Don and Judy’s joy and passion is their family which includes two sons (Michal and Anthony) and a daughter, Angelina along with nine grandchildren (hoping to be 10 soon); Don loves to drive his red Corvette with the top down (on the rare occasions the sun shines in Elmira) and listen to “60s Oldies Music” with particular love for the Beach Boys hits including “I Get Around” and Jan and Dean hits including “Dead Man’s Curve”. Don loves going to Rodeos having been a “calf roper” and an equestrian as a teenager and having owned six quarter horses. Don loves fast cars and fast horses. Life was meant to be enjoyed and lived to the fullest extent.