Dennis broke his neck and back in a car accident in 1992. As a result of his injuries, he was left paralyzed. The experiences he gained as the result of his injuries are invaluable in his work with the disabled and senior communities of Riverside County and San Bernardino County. He has firsthand experience in dealing with the physical and emotional aspects of having a disability and how the system works for those requiring care.
Dennis Sandoval is the only attorney in California who has certifications in the three areas of estate planning, elder law and taxation. He received his Certified Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Specialist designation from the California Bar Board of Legal Specialization in 1998 and his Certified Taxation Law Specialist designation in 2000 from the same organization. He is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), a designation he proudly received in 2004 after meeting all the requirements established by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) and the American Bar Association. Dennis has also holds the designation as an Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP) from the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils.
Dennis’ educational degrees include a Master of Tax Law Degree (LL.M.), a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration / Finance.
Before becoming a lawyer, Dennis owned a tax planning / preparation and financial planning firm in Orange, California. During the time he practiced in this area he received his designations as an Enrolled Agent with the Internal Revenue Services and as a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP) and Registered Financial Consultant® (RFC) designations. Although he no longer practices as a financial planner, the knowledge and experience he gained from serving his tax and financial planning clients is invaluable in assisting his estate planning, elder law and tax controversy clients, as well as working with their financial advisors.
In addition to overseeing his estate planning, elder law and tax law practice in Riverside, Dennis served for seventeen years as the Director of Education for the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA). He retired from that position in 2016, but still serves as its Director of Education Emeritus. The AAEPA is a nationwide membership organization of attorneys concentrating their law practices in estate planning.
Dennis served on the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (NAELA) and chaired many of its Sections and Task Groups. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Elder Law Foundation. In 2014, Dennis was named as a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorney, a distinction held by less than 100 attorneys nationwide.
For many years Dennis served on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (Southern California NAELA). He served as its president. He was the 2011 Member of the Year of Southern California NAELA.
Dennis also served multiple terms as Chairperson for the Estate Planning and Elder Law Section of the Riverside County Bar Association. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Estate Planning Council of Riverside and several local, state, and national charitable organizations.
Dennis is one of only eight California members of the Special Needs Alliance, a nationwide membership organization of attorneys interested in advancing the care of special needs persons through proper planning. He is also a charter member of The Academy of Special Needs Planners, a nationwide membership organization dedicated to assisting persons with disabilities. Dennis is active in many special needs and disability organizations, including ARC, NAMI, TACA, the Autism Society and the Special Olympics.
Dennis is member of the Riverside County Bar Association, the San Bernardino County Bar Association, the Riverside County Estate Planning Council, the San Bernardino County Estate Planning Council, the Inland Empire Planned Giving Roundtable and the Consumer Attorneys of California.
Dennis teaches as an adjunct professor at several law schools and universities, including Stetson University College of Law, at Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law, University of California, and University of Redlands.
Dennis grew up in Riverside, where he attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help grade school and Notre Dame High School. In high school and college, Dennis was active in many sports, lettering in football and wrestling. His current hobbies include building and maintaining marine aquariums, building model ships, scrimshaw, and photography. Prior to becoming paralyzed, he was an assistant scuba diving instructor for a dive shop in Orange. He lives in Norco, California with his wife, three daughters, grandson, and their menagerie of pets.