Ivette M. Santaella

Santaella Legal Group APC

Ivette M. Santaella

Santaella Legal Group APC

Ivette M. Santaella

Santaella Legal Group APC

Profession LogoATTORNEY

Ivette M. Santaella has considerable experience in estate planning, elder law, Special Needs, trust administration, conservatorships and nursing home abuse. She has been trained and is adding Collaborative Law for Estate Planning to her practice. She is knowledgeable in long term care and Medi-Cal planning. She has drafted numerous, trusts, wills, durable powers of attorney and other relevant estate planning documents, customized for the unique needs of her clients. Ms. Santaella has made various presentations regarding estate planning and elder law in community, library and chamber settings. She also volunteers her time in the Alcosta Senior Center to provide pro bono assistance to the elderly. She is an active member of the Contra County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel, Elder Counsel, NAELA and CANHR. She recently was named to the Board of Directors for the Ombudsman office for Contra Costa and Solano counties. Ms. Santaella graduated with honors from Fordham University in New York city. She worked for the city of New York in various management positions before attending law school in Washington, DC at the American University Washington College of Law. Subsequently she obtained her MBA from the University of California at Irvine. She is fluent in Spanish.

Legal Experience

Prior to beginning her work in estate planning, Ms. Santaella as counsel at HP, Sun MS, and Symantec-supporting the companies' IT, procurement, accounting, and HR functions. During this time, she negotiated and drafted complex licensing, sales, and procurement contracts, and was tasked with setting up the legal infrastructure for sales and procurement functions by drafting playbooks and templates. In addition to these duties, she mentored and trained contract managers, paralegals, and junior attorneys.

Ms. Santaella' s skillful counsel led to special commendation from Sun MS's executive management for her legal support in completing a $33 million/year outsourcing deal that reduced Sun's expenses by 20-30%. While serving at HP, she was awarded the HP Diamond Award for Excellence in Job Performance for E-Services implementation. This recognition acknowledges excellence in performance; it is only awarded to top performers within the company. Ms. Santaella also served the federal government for five years, during which time she was in charge of taking over failed bank institutions. She acted as "General Counsel" to the managing agent who was chosen to rehabilitate the institution so that it could be sold to save taxpayer dollars. She successfully served as General Counsel in the turnaround of seven different institutions.

Speaking Engagements and Community Involvement

Ms. Santaella has given various presentations on estate planning and business succession planning at community, library, and chamber events. She proudly volunteers in the "Lawyer in the Library" programs to provide families with pro bono assistance regarding the importance of starting an estate plan early and having the correct insurances in place. She is also a member of the Tri-Valley Estate Planning Council.

Education and Professional Associations

Ms. Santaella graduated with honors from Fordham University in New York City. She served in various management positions in NYC before earning her Juris Doctor from the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC. She subsequently obtained her MBA from the University of California at Irvine, and became a financial certified specialist in long-term care and special needs issues. She is an active member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association Trust Section, WealthCounsel® and is the Estate Planning point person for the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California. Ms.Santaella is computer literate and fluent in Spanish, which helps her provide every client with the exemplary legal counsel they deserve.

Firm Description

You’re wrestling with an unfamiliar challenge or finally getting around to preparing for your family’s future. While there are other things you’d rather be doing, you recognize that this issue, this circumstance, is your priority right now.

Your situation is our priority as well. We want to answer your questions, help you make important decisions, and resolve pressing issues as quickly as possible. We take our motto to heart – we care beyond the law.

How We Achieve the Best Result for You

Initial Complimentary Phone Consultation

Your first phone consultation with us is free and requires no obligation (we charge for Medi-Cal consults). We simply want to understand your situation and concerns. We don’t hold back. If we can offer counsel or provide useful direction, we will tell you. What’s most important to us is that we help you understand your situation and the options available.

Support for Non-English Speakers

Our estate planning and elder law practice leader is fluent in both English and Spanish. If your family member needs counsel in another language, we will make arrangements. Important life decisions benefit from clear communication.

Proactive Planning and Vigorous Representation

When you work with our firm, we bring all of our years of legal experience into our engagement. From the most simple estate planning matter, we seek to understand your objectives so we can work in concert in a cost-effective manner. Because we have extensive experience in estate planning matters, we are able to anticipate issues and design the right plan for you.


Day From To
Monday 9:00 AM 5:30 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM 5:30 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM 5:30 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM 5:30 PM
Friday 9:00 AM 5:30 PM


What Is a Special Needs Planner?

Main Office

111 Deerwood Road
Suite 200
San Ramon, CA 94583

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