Vanessa M. Terzian


An adjunct professor of Wills and Trusts at Southwestern Law School, recently named a top attorney in Pasadena Magazine, and a Rising Star™ selected by Super Lawyers®, Vanessa Terzian began her legal career as a trust officer for Wells Fargo, N.A.

Her experience at Wells Fargo – working closely with clients, portfolio managers, beneficiaries, and other attorneys – shed light on how a poor estate plan can ruin a family’s fortune and more importantly, their relationships.

After witnessing firsthand the importance of proper planning, Vanessa pursued her own practice, helping countless families through her expertise in estate and tax planning, probate, and trust administration. What sets Vanessa apart is her understanding of the needs of growing families, her ability to relate to working parents who desire a better life for themselves and their families, and her know-how in implementing strategic estate-planning tools in the most cost-efficient and seamless manner. Vanessa also draws on her real estate and business background in crafting comprehensive plans for her clients.

Vanessa is a skilled public speaker, having conducted countless seminars throughout her legal career on various estate-planning topics, including kids protection planning, special needs planning, Medi-Cal planning, advanced tax planning, and asset protection for individuals and small businesses. Vanessa is a faculty member at the Institute for Preparing Heirs®.

Vanessa is an active member of the La Cañada Flintridge community, where she resides with her husband, Edward, and two sons, Alec and Jack. She is a board director of the La Cañada Education Foundation and participates in a number of charitable organizations. Vanessa has successfully raised thousands of dollars for a variety of charitable causes through fundraising campaigns, which include frequent community-based public speaking events, charitable dinners, and personal contributions. She believes that the foundation to a successful family unit is care, love, and selflessness, and she stresses the importance of providing your community with these same tenets that are so essential to your own family’s success.

In May 2018, Vanessa merged her practice with a Pasadena-based estate-planning firm, Primuth and Driskell, LLP, now known as Primuth, Driskell, and Terzian, LLP, which later merged with Lagerlof, LLP.

As a family woman, Vanessa understands the importance of protecting assets, planning for the future, and building your own legacy. She takes pride in providing her clients with the sense of comfort and security that comes along with having an effective and comprehensive estate plan in place.


Estate Planning
Trust & Probate

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UCSD Undergrad – Magna Cum Laude
Loyola Law School, Juris Doctorate, Dean’s Full Tuition Academic Scholarship




Central District of California
U.S. Supreme Court

Awards & Recognitions

Top Attorney 2015 – Current – Pasadena Magazine
Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2016 – Current
Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2024 Leaders of Influence: Minority Attorneys
Avvo Client’s Choice Award, 2014 – Current

Community & Charitable Affiliations

Director – La Canada Educational
Advisory Board Member – Pasadena Community Foundation
Faculty – Institute for Preparing Heirs

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