Welcome to the Special Needs Trustee website for Riverside and the surrounding cities, brought to you by Dennis M. Sandoval, A Professional Law Corporation. Although we call our website the Special Needs Trustee website, in fact we offer trustee, trust administration, executor and conservator services of all types. Our specialization is handling the smaller trusts and estates that most corporate trustees and professional fiduciaries are not interested in – either because of the size or type of assets or because of administration difficulties (beneficiaries who require additional attention due to disabilities, spending habits or difficult personalities). Under the guidance of Dennis Sandoval, the only attorney in California who holds three certifications in the areas of Estate Planning, Taxation and Elder Law, our firm has established itself as one of the premier special needs planning law firms, estate and trust administration law firms serving the Inland Empire. This website, as well as our firm’s other websites, contain a wealth of information for consumers and financial professionals.

Selecting Your Trustee

Choosing who will serve as Trustee of your trust is an important decision that deserves careful consideration. The Trustee you select must have the skill, perspective and judgment, as well as the time, to adequately perform a wide range of duties. Since the Trustee is responsible for carrying out the terms of your trust, you should have implicit faith in whomever you choose.

A Trustee who is unfamiliar with the rules dealing with Special Needs Trust distributions to a recipient of Supplement Security Income (“SSI”), Medi-Cal, Section 8 Housing and other government assistance programs can devastate a special needs beneficiary’s personal and financial situation. Due to pre-existing conditions, many special needs beneficiaries are reliant on Medi-Cal coverage as the sole source of health insurance coverage. For many of these beneficiaries, Medi-Cal coverage is linked to the receipt of SSI, and a loss of SSI benefits, which may be only a few hundreds of dollars per month, can lead to loss of health insurance coverage worth ten of thousands of dollar per year. A Trustee who is familiar with the rules dealing with the interaction of government assistance programs and Special Needs Trust’s distributions can avoid such loss of valuable benefits.

Dennis M. Sandoval, A Professional Law Corporation has been hired by many of Southern California’s largest bank and trust companies, as well as private professional fiduciaries, to advise these Trustees of the consequences of making or not making distributions from a Special Needs Trust or other types of trusts created by individuals and families. While many banks and trust companies do an excellent job of administering trusts and our law firm often recommends them for consideration by our wealthier clients, many of our clients either do not meet the minimum asset size required by these firms or they are looking for the types of services not typically offered by these large institutions. Our law firm specializes in filling that gap. We offer professional trust administration services for trusts, estates and conservatorships as small as $100,000. We also have alternatives available for the administration of even smaller trusts, estates and conservatorships. If you are in Southern California, give our office a call for more information.

Individual or Institution?

You can appoint an individual or an institution to serve as Trustee of your trust. Some individuals choose a family member or friend to serve as Trustee. While this may be appropriate for certain trust arrangements, it is oftentimes not the best choice. Not every individual can fulfill the administrative duties and responsibilities of a Trustee. They may not have the knowledge or experience to effectively manage the trust or they may not have the time to perform these duties. If they are a trust beneficiary, they may not have the objectivity to properly administer the trust. The individual trustee may not be able to balance the rights of the current trustee against those of the remainder beneficiary. The appointment of a certain family member as executor or trustee often results in results in hurt feelings and arguments with other family members. Many family members do not desire to take on the responsibilities of handling the financial affairs of the other family members. Sometimes a bank, trust company or private fiduciary is the answer. But many of these institutions are inflexible and not equipped to provide your family members with the types of services they require. Special needs beneficiaries often have a difficult time transitioning after the death of a parent or other lifetime caregiver and they need the life care planning and other personal services our law firm offers. And quite frequently, the trust, estate or conservatorship is not of the size required to take advantage of the services provided by these institutions.

Advantages of Dennis M. Sandoval, A Professional Law Corporation

Dennis M. Sandoval, A Professional Law Corporation offers the advantages of dealing with Mr. Sandoval, one of the most experienced estate administration, trust administration and taxation law attorneys in Southern California combined with a staff of associate attorneys, professional fiduciaries, social workers and paralegals unequaled by any other law firm in the Inland Empire area.

We are a life care planning law firm that takes a holistic approach to assuring that the beneficiaries of the conservatorships, estates and trusts that we administer are well cared for. If the beneficiaries are receiving government assistance or are eligible to receive government assistance, we take the steps necessary to assure those benefits are preserved. Our professional fiduciaries and geriatric care coordinators will assure the type of care your loved ones need and desire and that their transition after your passing is as worry-free as possible. Visit our website at www.life-care-planning.com to learn more about the services our professional fiduciaries and geriatric care coordinators provide for our clients.

Our law firm offers continuity, permanence, professionalism and investment expertise. Choosing our law firm to serve as Trustee for your trust also may help avoid the biases that may result when you select a family member. If you want to combine professional oversight and family involvement, you can appoint a trust company to act in conjunction with a relative or a friend.

Getting Started

When you call our office to schedule your free initial consultation regarding Trustee services, you will be sent a package of information including directions to our office as well as three questionnaires for you to complete and bring with you to the first meeting. Having this information available for the attorney you will be meeting with will make your free consultation much more productive. The first questionnaire requests family information, including specific information about the needs of your trust beneficiaries. The second questionnaire requests information about family financial information. If you would prefer to download the directions to our office and these questionnaires, click here.

Dennis Joins Special Needs Alliance

Special Trusts AllianceDennis is proud to announce that he has been invited to join the prestigious Special Needs Alliance, an exclusive organization of attorneys that specialize in planning for special needs persons. Through his affiliation with the Special Needs Alliance, Dennis will have the collective wisdom and planning experience of some of the top special needs planning attorneys in the United States available to him and his special needs clients. Dennis is one of only six Special Needs Alliance members in California. The Special Needs Alliance has slightly over one hundred members nationwide. For more information on special needs estate planning, visit our website at www.cal-special-needs-attorney.com. You can get additional information about the Special Needs Alliance by visiting www.specialneedsalliance.com. If you know of a special needs support group that would like to have Dennis give them a presentation on Special Needs Estate Planning, please contact our office. In the past year, Dennis has made informative and entertaining presentations to various Inland Empire and Orange County support groups dealing with individuals with Down Syndrome, Autism, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Schlerosis, and ALS.

Dennis is Contributing Author of Special Needs Trust Treatise

The California Education of the Bar recently announced the publication of its two-volume treatise entitled Special Needs Trusts: Planning, Drafting and Administration. Dennis is the author of the chapter on Taxation of Special Needs Trusts.

Published Again!

Parts 1 and 2 of Dennis’ article on The Taxation of Special Needs Trusts were recently published in the NAELA News.   To get a copy of the articles, click here.

Informational Booklet

To receive a free booklet regarding the intricacies of administering a Special Needs Trust, click here. See our website, www.cal-special-needs-attorney.com, for information about planning for a beneficiary with disabilities.

Dennis is Starting Second Year as Board of Directors of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

In June, Dennis finished his term as the 2008 / 2009 president of the Southern California Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. To learn more about NELF, click here.

Mr. Sandoval Starts Third Year Serving on Board of Directors of National Elder Law Foundation

Dennis has been elected as the 2008 / 2009 president of the Southern California Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. To learn more about the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, click here.

Dennis Completes Term as President of Southern California NAELA Chapter

In June 2009, Dennis completed his term as the 2008 / 2009 President of the Southern California Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. During his term, many important accomplishments we obtained, including the reinstitution of the member website at www.calnalela.org and many important developments regarding advocacy with the California legislature and administrative agencies for the rights of the disabled and the frail elderly.

Dennis M. Sandoval, A PLC is Admitted as Charter Member of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association

Our law firm had been admitted as a charter member of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association. Our law firm is the only law firm in Southern California with a Geriatric Care Coordinator on staff.Karen Griffith, our Geriatric Care Coordinator, works exhaustively to secure the highest of care for our frail elderly and disabled clients. With the growing population of frail elderly and families needing advice regarding in-home care, assisted living and skilled nursing homes, life care planning is a growing area of the law. Click here to learn more about life care planning at our website, www.life-care-planning.com. If you would like more information about life care planning in general as well as the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, visit www.lcplfa.org.

Visit Our Firm’s Other Websites

We have several other websites that might be of interest to you:

http://www.cal-special-needs-attorney.com is our website devoted exclusively to estate planning for your special needs loved one.  Our law firm is the “go-to” firm to plan for your child or grandchild with special needs.

http://www.protect-your-wealth.com is our estate planning website.  There you will find information about all aspects of estate planning, probate and trust administration, and trust and estate litigation.  The site also contains some special information about Legacy Wealth Planning, estate planning for persons with large retirement assets and estate planning for Gay; Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Trans-Gender individuals and couples.

http://www.cal-elder-lawyer.com is our elder law planning website.  There you will find information about planning for receipt of Medi-Cal benefits, planning for receipt of Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits, conservatorships, durable powers of attorney for property, advance health care directives, and HIPAA authorization forms.

http://www.life-care-planning.com is our life care planning website.  There you will find resources for caregivers, and information about caring for the frail elderly in their homes, in assisted living facilities and RCFEs, and in Skilled Nursing Facilities.  You will find out how a life care planning attorney is what you need to relief from those sleepless nights worrying about how you will provide care for your elder loved one.

http://www.fight-the-taxman.com is our website that contains information about dealing with the IRS and California taxing authorities.  We can assist you with resolving your income tax, employment tax, sales tax, or property tax problems.  We are admitted to practice before the Internal Revenue Service, the California Franchise Tax Board, the California Board of Equalization, and the California Employment Development Department.