Michael B. Hicken
Of Counsel – Estate Planning
Michael Hicken’s practice is devoted to trusts and estate planning, administration of probate, and conservatorship, with an emphasis in probate litigation.
He earned a bachelor degree in finance from Brigham Young University. After obtaining a Juris Doctor from Western State University College of Law in December 1982, he was admitted to the California State Bar that next Spring in 1983.
Mr. Hicken initially worked as an associate lawyer for law firms focusing on general civil and tort litigation until 1987 when he joined the firm of Westover & Matthews in Newport Beach (then recognized as a top probate litigation firm in Orange County). In 1995 he opened his own solo practice continuing to emphasize litigation in probate, trust and estate cases until the present.
With over 34 years in practice in estate planning an probate litigation he offers broad and sound legal experience that is personalized to your needs. He is a regular face at court, appearing nearly weekly in Orange County Probate Court. He has also litigated numerous cases outside of Orange County, including San Luis Obispo, Kern, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties.
He serves on the Orange County Court’s volunteer panel and is regularly appointed by Judges as attorney or guardian ad litem for minors, or other individuals with a legal incapacity, who would otherwise be without representation.
A majority of estate planning/probate lawyers do not litigate cases. When disputes arise, those lawyers usually refer the case to a litigator-but not just any litigator–but to a probate litigator. However, his background as a litigator, experiencing in the trenches the fallout of an incompetently prepared document, provides him insight and sensitivity to potential pitfalls which may undermine an estate plan. Michael will help you prepare a plan to assure, as much as legally possible, that your wishes are carried out.
Trust, probate and conservatorship matters are governed by the Probate Code, having their own peculiarities distinguishing them from other civil actions. It is critical that your litigator knows the Probate Code. A majority of his practice has been built upon referrals (first time and repeat) from other attorneys, who trust him to serve their referrals well, knowing that their reputation is also at stake. He also has clients referred by judges and court personnel who have either observed him first hand or know his reputation