About Our Firm

Sandoval Legacy Group, A Professional Law Corporation, is one of only a few law firms in the Inland Empire that has expertise in three areas of concern to many seniors and disabled individuals – estate planning, elder law and taxes.

The principal of the firm, Dennis M. Sandoval, is the only attorney in California that is a certified specialist in all three of these areas of the law. He is certified by the California Bar Board of Legal Specialization as both a Certified Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Specialist and a Certified Taxation Law Specialist. He is one of only two Certified Taxation Law Specialists in Riverside County. He is also one of only two Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) that practice in Riverside County. CELAs are certified through the National Elder Law Foundation. Sandoval Legacy Group, A Professional Law Corporation, is also the only law firm in Riverside County with a Professional Geriatric Care Manager on staff. Our Geriatric Care Manager, Karen Griffith, has a bachelors degree in social work and has over eighteen years of experience working with the disabled and elderly.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is much more than just drafting wills. It involves life as well as death planning. The drama surrounding the life and death of Terri Schiavo, which was in the news frequently in the past few years, teaches us the necessity of addressing issues surrounding health care decision making, providing for financial security during a period of disability or incapacity and end-of-life decisions. Whether you believe Terri Schiavo should have been allowed to live or that she should have had her feeding tube removed, you don’t want to have to place your loved ones in the same position as in Terri’s case. Our firm can provide you with Advance Health Directives and HIPAA Authorization Forms that will assure you and your family are not placed in the same predicament.

For those individuals that own their own businesses, there is the issue of how and when to pass on the business to the next generation – while also treating those family members that are not active in the business fairly. Those individuals with significant wealth may be concerned about how to protect that wealth from creditors – as well as from divorcing spouses. Our firm specializes in planning for the wealth transfer and asset protection needs of business owners and various professionals.

Families with disabled children and grandchildren need to address the issue of how to preserve any government benefits the disabled beneficiary may be entitled to while also setting aside a nest egg to provide for those needs that are not covered through these programs. For those that did not plan ahead, there is the issue of how to preserve an inheritance for a disabled beneficiary (through use of a trust reformation or a (d)(4)(A) special needs trust or (d)(4)(C) pooled trust). Finally, there is the issue of how to preserve government assistance for a disabled beneficiary who has received a legal settlement relating to his or her injuries. Our firm has substantial experience in assisting disabled individuals to preserve their government benefits.

There is also the issue of how to encourage family members to become productive members of society and how to discourage unproductive behavior, possibly through the use of incentive provision in a trust. Many individuals also want to benefit their favorite charities during life and/or at death. We can help you structure your estate plan in such a way to benefit the charity and to encourage productive behavior from your children and grandchildren.

Of course, an element of estate planning has always been that of probate avoidance and the reduction or elimination of estate taxes. We can show you how to reduce or eliminate any estate tax and also avoid probate. Where there is disagreement among family members, there may be issues relating to the mediation of the dispute, and in some cases – litigation may be required. Our firm has represented both the trustee / executor defending the trust or will as well as the beneficiary seeking redress of a wrong.

For the family members of those individuals who did not have the foresight to plan ahead, there are issues relating to estate administration and probate. Our firm has represented executors with their probate proceedings throughout the Inland Empire.

Elder Law

When many people think of elder law, they think of planning to obtain Medi-Cal benefits, and that is a big part of our elder law practice. We are among the most experienced firms in Riverside County with regard to designing and implementing Medi-Cal asset protection plans.

Our firm also handles appeals of denial of benefits such as Medi-Cal, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). Where it is necessary, we can appear on your behalf before any California Court or before an administrative law judge to advocate on your behalf.

But the practice of elder law is much, much more than just planning to obtain government assistance.

In many cases a conservatorship is necessary for to assist seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease or other related ailments. Where a disabled person is in needs to establish an estate plan or wants to obtain government benefits, but cannot do so on their own because of mental incapacity, a conservatorship may be the only solution. A conservatorship of the person or the estate may also be necessary to protect the welfare of a senior or disabled individual. Our office is available to assist your loved ones with the establishment of a conservatorship where one would prove beneficial to the disabled individual. We are also available to defend against the establishment of a conservatorship where one is not needed.

Financial elder abuse is an area of growing concern. Family members and other individuals who have a close relationship with a disabled individual or senior often times use that relationship to obtain the individual’s assets. This often involves the improper use of a financial power of attorney. Our firm is available to help the senior or disabled person recover the funds that have been taken from them.

Sandoval Legacy Group, A Professional Law Corporation, is among the most experienced firm in the Inland Empire regarding the establishment of third party special needs trusts, as well as (d)(4)(A) trusts and (d)(4)(C) “pooled trusts” in order to protect the assets of disabled individuals. Even more importantly, we have the knowledge necessary to advise the trustees of such trust on the proper administration of these trusts. This is especially important, since an improper distribution from one of these trusts could cause the disabled beneficiary to lose his or her government assistance.

Our Professional Geriatric Care Manager is available to assist you with the selection of a nursing home or assisted care facility. She is available to assist with determining appropriate financing methods, including private pay, reverse mortgages, long term care insurance, Medicare and Medi-Cal. Our Geriatric Care Manager, Karen Griffith, is also available to make home assessments for those disabled and senior individuals intending to remain in the home as well as to attend care meetings at assisted care and nursing homes and to advocate for the best care available for our clients at those meetings.

Tax Planning and Tax Controversy

Planning for reduction of taxes is a concern to almost everyone. Dennis Sandoval is among the most knowledgeable tax planning professionals in the Inland Empire, whether it be for individual income tax planning, business income tax planning, gift tax planning or estate tax planning. He has obtained a Master of Tax Law (LL.M.) cum laude from Golden Gate University College of Law and he has been an Enrolled Agent (EA) since the early 90’s.

Dennis Sandoval has over twenty years experience representing clients before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), Board of Equalization (BOE), Employment Development Division (EDD) and various county assessors’ offices. He can represent you in any income tax, estate tax, gift tax, sales tax and property tax matter. He can handle tax matters ranging from tax audits and appeals through litigated tax cases.

Our firm has been involved in representing clients in litigated tax cases before the United States Tax Court, the United States District Courts for Southern and Central California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the California Superior Court and Court of Appeals. We have also handled many administrative appeal proceedings.