Meet Dennis Sandoval, an exceptional attorney whose life experiences have shaped his dedication to serving the disabled and senior communities of Riverside County and San Bernardino County. In 1992, Dennis suffered a life-changing car accident that left him with a broken neck and back, resulting in paralysis. Through this challenging journey, he gained invaluable insights into the physical and emotional aspects of living with a disability and navigating the care system.
Dennis is a legal expert with a unique set of certifications, making him the only attorney in California with credentials in three key areas: estate planning, elder law, and taxation. His journey to becoming a specialist began in 1998 when he earned the Certified Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Specialist designation from the California Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Soon after, he obtained the Certified Taxation Law Specialist designation from the same organization in 2000. Demonstrating his commitment to excellence, he became a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) in 2004, meeting all requirements set by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) and the American Bar Association. Dennis also holds the prestigious designation of an Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP) from the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils.
Dennis’ educational background is impressive, boasting a Master of Tax Law Degree (LL.M.), a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with a focus on Finance. Prior to his legal career, Dennis successfully ran a tax planning and financial planning firm in Orange, California. During this time, he attained the designations of Enrolled Agent with the Internal Revenue Service and Certified Financial Planner® (CFP) and Registered Financial Consultant® (RFC). While he no longer practices as a financial planner, his extensive knowledge and experience continue to benefit his estate planning, elder law, and tax controversy clients, as well as their financial advisors.
In addition to his thriving practice, Dennis has actively contributed to the legal community. For seventeen years, he served as the Director of Education for the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA), an esteemed organization of attorneys focused on estate planning across the nation. He also held prominent roles on the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (NAELA), chairing several Sections and Task Groups. Furthermore, Dennis served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Elder Law Foundation and earned the distinction of being named a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys in 2014, a prestigious honor shared by only a select few.
Throughout his career, Dennis has been actively involved in various legal associations, including the Southern California Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (Southern California NAELA), where he served as its president and was named Member of the Year in 2011. He also played essential roles within the Estate Planning and Elder Law Section of the Riverside County Bar Association and served on the Board of Directors of The Estate Planning Council of Riverside.
Dennis is deeply committed to supporting special needs and disability organizations, such as ARC, NAMI, TACA, the Autism Society, and the Special Olympics. He is one of the six California members of the Special Needs Alliance, a nationwide organization of attorneys dedicated to proper planning for special needs individuals. Furthermore, Dennis is an active member of The Academy of Special Needs Planners, a nationwide group focused on assisting individuals with disabilities.
Beyond his legal engagements, Dennis has contributed to the development of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association (LCPLFA). His law firm proudly serves as a charter member of LCPLFA, which focuses on a holistic approach to elder care by employing social workers and geriatric care managers as part of the team.
Dennis has also shared his expertise as an adjunct professor at various law schools and universities, including Stetson University College of Law, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law, University of California, and University of Redlands.
Despite his demanding career, Dennis remains true to his roots, having grown up in Riverside. He attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help grade school and Notre Dame High School, where he actively participated in sports like football and wrestling. Today, he indulges in hobbies such as building and maintaining marine aquariums and photography. Prior to his accident, he even served as an assistant scuba diving instructor. Dennis now resides in Norco, California, with his wife, three daughters, and their delightful assortment of pets. He treasures spending time with his two grandsons and one granddaughter, further enriching his life with love and joy.