Dennis M. Sandoval
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. He received his Certified Taxation Law Specialist designation in 2000, also from the California Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Dennis became a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) in 2004, after meeting all the requirements established by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) and the American Bar Association. Dennis has also holds designations as an Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP) from the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils and as an Enrolled Agent (EA) from the Internal Revenue Service.
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 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 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 serves as the Director of Education for the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA). The AAEPA is a nationwide membership organization of attorneys concentrating their law practices in estate planning.
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. He also served as the Chairperson for the Estate Planning and Elder Law Section of the Riverside County Bar Association for several years.
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 is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the National Elder Law Foundation. Dennis also serves on many boards and advisory committees to professional groups, universities and businesses in the Riverside and San Bernardino area.
Dennis is one of only nine 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. 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 Inland Empire Chapter of the California Society of Enrolled Agents.
Dennis’ law firm is also a charter member of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association (LCPLFA). The LCPLFA is a nationwide membership organization of law firms that employ social workers and geriatric care managers as part of a holistic team of professionals to assist frail elders and disabled persons get the highest quality of care. Dennis M. Sandoval, a Professional Law Corporation is the only law firm in Riverside with a social worker on its staff. Dennis served on the Board of Directors of LCPLFA and was its Vice President in 2011.
Prior to being accepted as a member of the Special Needs Alliance, Dennis was a charter member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, a nationwide association of lawyers who specialize in planning for the legal needs of special needs persons.
Dennis is an adjunct professor at Chapman University College of Law, where he teaches various classes for its Master of Tax Law (LL.M.) program. He previously taught at other law schools and at the University of California at Riverside Extension.
Dennis grew up in Riverside, where he attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help grade school and Notre Dame High School. He, his wife and three daughters are providing care for his elderly father in his home in Riverside.
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 and three girls, along with their menagerie of pets.
Pamela is our associate attorney. Like Dennis, she has a Master of Taxation Law (LL.M.) degree. She also has a Juris Doctorate (JD) and Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics.
Also like Dennis, Pamela is a Certified Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Specialist from the California Bar Board of Legal Specialization. No other law firm of its size in Riverside has two attorneys with the estate planning, elder law and tax credentials of our attorneys.
Pamela has been approved by the Riverside County Superior Court to serve as court-appointed attorney for proposed conservatees. This resulted in her representing the famous R&B singer, Etta James, during her contested conservatorship proceeding in Riverside.
Pamela has served as the Chair or Co-Chair of the Estate Planning and Elder Law Section of the Riverside County Bar Association for the past several years. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the Southern California Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is currently the Vice President of the chapter. Pamela is a member of the Riverside County Bar Association, the San Bernardino County Bar Association, the Riverside County Estate Planning Council and the San Bernardino County Estate Planning Council. She is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association.
Pamela has taught law school at a local law school and she often teaches continuing education classes for attorneys, financial professionals and health care professionals. She also conducts presentations for consumers on various estate planning, elder law and tax subjects.
Prior to joining our law firm, Pamela worked with several estate planning and tax law firms. She handles many of the firm’s probate and conservatorship cases. She assists Dennis with the firm’s long term care planning and special needs planning cases. Pamela handles the majority of the firm’s tax controversy cases before the IRS, Franchise Tax Board and Employment Development Department. She has a special interest in working through the complexities of advanced estate planning matters for LGBT and unmarried partners.
Pamela enjoys working with various charitable organizations, gardening, and singing. She lives with several dogs and cats, her partner, Dawn, and her mother, who they both provide care for in their home in Corona, California.
Megan is our office manager and paralegal. Dennis first met Megan Boling when she sought his assistance with getting her father-in-law on Medi-Cal and SSI after he had suffered a massive stroke. Dennis was so impressed with her organization skills and how she fought to get the highest level of care for her father-in-law, that he offered her a job as his first paralegal. She later became the office manager.
Megan has many skills that make her a great paralegal, but probably her greatest attributes are her contagious upbeat attitude and diligence in caring for clients. She is also a key player in the implementation of procedures within the office to automate processes and minimize mistakes.
Megan received her degree in paralegal studies from Riverside Community College in 2009. She has completed several courses in government assistance programs for the elderly and the disabled. She has firsthand knowledge of the In Home Supportive Services program due to her involvement with the care of her father-in-law at her residence. Megan also assists our clients with probate and conservatorship proceedings before the Riverside County Superior Court and the San Bernardino County Superior Court. Megan is licensed as a Notary Public and is a member of the Inland Counties Association of Paralegals.
She lives in Upland with her husband, Mike, her sons Logan and Colton, her dog, Gypsy and cat, Voodoo. Together they provide care for Mike’s father in their home. Megan’s hobbies include cooking, camping, hiking, gardening and crocheting.
Venessa R. Marsack
Venessa is our paralegal and government assistance specialist. Like Megan, she has attended numerous courses on Medi-Cal for nursing homes and Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension Benefits. In addition to taking the lead in assisting our clients with qualification for these government assistance programs, Venessa assists Dennis and Pamela with preparing client’s estate planning documents. She also assists with the probate and conservatorship matters in the Riverside County Probate Court and the San Bernardino County Probate Court.
Venessa became friends with Megan while they were both taking courses in the paralegal studies program at Riverside Community College. When Dennis was looking to add another paralegal to the law firm staff, Megan did not hesitate to recommend Venessa. The rest is history.
Venessa is also known for her diligence and follow through. She has been instrumental in developing many of the law firm’s procedures, which are crucial in reducing costly mistakes that can cost clients time and money.
Venessa has completed her classes for the paralegal studies degree program from Riverside Community College and is the process of completing the additional requirements to receive her paralegal studies degree. She is licensed as a Notary Public and is a member of the Inland Counties Association of Paralegals.
Venessa lives in Bloomington with her daughter Lily, her significant other, Corey and her dogs, Dallas and Ginger. She occupies her time outside of work with reading, swimming, going to the beach, horseback riding, baking and camping.
Paula is our senior paralegal. She came to our office in 2008. Before that, she worked as a paralegal for several estate planning attorneys in the Riverside area and in various positions at the Riverside County Superior Court. When she retired from the Riverside County Superior Court, she was a senior probate examiner for all probate matters. Paula was also in charge of conservatorship investigations during this time. With that background, you can understand why Paula handles virtually all of the accountings for the law firm’s guardianship and conservatorship matters. She also assists the other paralegals and the attorneys with our probate, conservatorship, estate planning and will and trust litigation matters.
Paula grew up in the Glen Avon area of Riverside County, where she currently resides with her husband Lonie. She has four adult children Ben, Brad, Esther and her youngest, Amy, who is currently attending University of California at Riverside. She is also very involved in the upbringing of her granddaughter, Stormi. Paula is very active in her church, especially its children’s ministry. She enjoys spending time with family and friends. She also enjoys camping and fishing.
Tekisha Rooks is our newest paralegal, having joined the firm in 2011. When it came time to hire another paralegal, Dennis relied on the recommendations of his current staff. Venessa recommended Tekisha, who she had previously worked with.
Tekisha has taken main responsibility for answering phones and has started to assume responsibility for some of our probate and conservatorship filings in the Riverside and San Bernardino Probate Courts. She is also working with Venessa in the preparation of our estate planning documents and she is learning about court accountings from Paula. She is a fast starter and we expect great things from her.
Tekisha has almost completed her certificate program in paralegal studies from the U. S. Career Institute. Tekisha will be taking the examination to become a Notary Public in 2013.
She lives in Corona with her significant other, Sam. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially her two nephews. When she is not with family, you will probably find her at the movies, cooking, dancing, shopping, traveling or helping Sam select fish and amphibians at the pet store for their small fresh water fish aquarium.
Diana is our Elder and Disability Care Coordinator. Our law firm is the only one in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties with a social worker on staff.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work and her Master’s degree in Gerontology. She received her designation as a Certified Care Manager (CMC) from The National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Diana is a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, the Western Region of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and she serves on the Ethics Committee of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association.
Prior to joining our law firm, Diana worked as a Geriatric Care Manager for various health care providers throughout San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. This experience and the contacts she has gained as the result of it greatly benefits the clients of our law firm.
Diana is active with the Inland Empire Palliative Care Coalition, the Inland Association of Continuity of Care, Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative, Networking for Seniors and various stroke recovery, Alzheimers Disease and dementia support groups.
Dianna lives in Chino with her husband, Ismael, her two sons, Dominic and Justin, and her dog, Daisy. Her spare time is preoccupied with her boys’ activities in school and sports, especially baseball.
Karen is our Care Coordinator Emeritus. Although she retired from official employment with our law firm in 2012, she still assists with our senior and disabled clients on occasion.
Karen has worked with the senior and disabled community for over a quarter century. While an employee of our law firm, Karen pioneered the concept of a social worker being employed by a law firm in the Inland Empire. Along with Dennis, she spoke at the first national conference of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association.
Karen was instrumental in assisting Dennis with the creation of the Inland Empire Caregiver Symposium, which is now in its eighth year. This conference, sponsored by our law firm, provides vital education to health care professionals and financial professionals in the Riverside and San Bernardino area regarding assisting frail seniors, either in the home or in a facility.
Karen is a licensed Notary Public. When she worked as our elder care coordinator, she maintained her membership in the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, the Western Region of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association.