Cole A. Hickman

Phone: 952-404-2100


Cole A. Hickman joined Sanford, Pierson, Thone & Strean as an associate attorney in 2014 and became a partner of the firm in 2016. Cole’s primary practice areas include estate planning and representing closely held businesses. He strives to give each client personalized and dedicated attention and has built a strong reputation in the legal community. Cole’s clients have ranged from individuals and start-ups to Fortune 5 companies. He is licensed to practice law in Minnesota and North Dakota State Courts as well as the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

Estate Planning

Cole is the chair of the firm’s Estate Planning and Probate Practice Group. Cole works closely with individuals and families to plan the disposition of their assets, both during their lifetimes and upon death, and prepares a variety of estate planning instruments including wills, trusts, health care directives, and powers of attorney.

Cole assists his clients in mitigating estate tax by drafting such documents as disclaimer trusts, credit shelter trusts, and irrevocable life insurance trusts. He also prepares documents designed to avoid probate such as revocable living trusts and transfer on death deeds.

Cole also works with clients after the death of a family member. In this role, he assists his clients and their families in carrying out the decedent’s final wishes. He counsels personal representatives, trustees, and beneficiaries through probate and the trust administration process.

Closely Held Business Law

Cole’s representation of closely held businesses includes drafting corporate documents, litigation (including pre-litigation and litigation avoidance), and mergers and acquisitions. Cole has first chair trial experience and has argued cases before the Minnesota Court of Appeals for his business clients. Cole also works with clients to develop tax efficient business succession strategies.

In his free time, Cole enjoys playing hockey, hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family and friends.


  • St. John’s University (B.A., cum laude, 2008)

  • William Mitchell College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2011)

Professional Associations:

  • Minnesota State Bar Association

  • Hennepin County Bar Association

  • American Bar Association

Community Activities:

  • Plymouth Lions Club, President/Former Vice President

  • Plymouth Lions Club, Grants Committee Chair

  • Wayzata Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors

  • Wayzata Chamber of Commerce, Young Professionals Committee Chair

  • Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Area Chamber of Commerce, Member

  • St. Joseph Parish Community, Finance Committee Member

  • Wills for Heroes, Volunteer Attorney