Published by San Fernando Valley Business Journal.
Attorney Terri Hilliard Receives Attorney of the Year/Trail Blazer Award
Terri Hilliard has been honored as a recipient of the special “Trail Blazer Award” from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal in the Journal’s annual 2017 Trusted Advisors program.
Each year, the Woodland Hills-based publication selects an award winner from among hundreds of nominees in four categories: Trail Blazer, Innovation Leadership, Client Services and Community Service. The Trail Blazer Award goes to a nominee who started a new enterprise and/or has moved their industry or profession forward. Award recipients were honored at a dinner held Aug. 9 at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City that was attended by hundreds of professionals. The annual event recognizes the positive impacts of attorneys, accountants, bankers, wealth managers and insurance professionals in the San Fernando, Conejo, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.
Hilliard is the principal of Terri Hilliard, P.C., with offices in Westlake Village and Santa Barbara. Her practice centers on advanced estate and business succession planning, asset protection, special needs trusts, and family protection planning for seniors. Hilliard is also a court-approved mediator who helps families, seniors, individuals and businesses resolve disputes.
Hilliard earned her law degree from Loyola Law School in 1989, following a successful career as an investment advisor. She is a member of all California State and Federal Courts, the California State Bar, Southern California Mediation Association, Eldercare Mediators, and the Ventura County Bar Association, Estates section and Wealth Counsel. Hilliard is accredited with the Veterans Administration and skilled in Medi-Cal Planning.
Hilliard’s Trusted Advisor nomination noted that senior citizens and people with special needs are among the community’s most vulnerable people. Hilliard is dedicated to giving the special help and assistance they need to prevent abuse and fraud. She also has donated her time for many years to the senior and special needs communities. Hilliard develops creative solutions to help seniors and their families find programs and resources so elders can stay in their homes longer and avoid nursing homes or care homes. She helps with veterans benefits or Medi-Cal benefits and financial assistance, and helps families avoid court intervention.
Hilliard is a skilled public speaker and has served as a panel moderator on a wide variety of subjects, including caring for seniors; Medi-Cal, long-term care, deed transfers upon death, divorce and estate planning; elder abuse and scams; purposeful estate planning; transition planning and conservatorships for special needs young adults; estate and financial planning; aging; strategies for health and wealth; planned giving; business succession planning; and politics and the special needs community.
Hilliard is actively involved in the community and gives her time to several organizations. She is a member of, and serves as Foundation Chair, of the Moorpark Morning Rotary (she also is a Paul Harris community service award recipient). She is a member of the Conejo Valley Estate Planning Counsel; a member of Provisors and on the Executive Board for its Attorney Affinity Group, Westlake Village; a member of the Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel; and she serves as vice president, board member and a member of the Scholarship Committee for Pause4Kids, which supports special needs individuals, elders and their caregivers in her community. Hilliard is a longtime board member of Senior Concerns of the Conejo. She created and founded the Pro Bono Panel of Attorneys program called “Legal Concerns” at Senior Concerns, where Hilliard lends her expertise in eldercare, estate planning, mediation, and planned giving. She also serves as the co-chair of the Planned Giving Committee for Senior Concerns. In addition, Hilliard is a founding committee member of the Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative (AWI), Ventura County chapter, and she has been a member of the Senior Estate Planning Institute since 2012.
Earlier this year, Hilliard donated her time and legal skills to help the creators of a new non-profit called Conejo Valley Village, a virtual village for seniors and others to barter and receive volunteer help in the Conejo Valley.