Evelyn W. Cloninger
Representative Client Experience
As the founding partner of Cloninger & Files, established in 1976, Evelyn Cloninger has an extensive clientele in the Central Florida area. Experienced in all areas of real estate sales, contracts, development and zoning matters, she handles deals ranging from multimillion dollar transactions to single lot purchases. Her practice includes representing clients in loan closings, zoning matters, boundary disputes and development of all sizes of land tracts. From handling the purchase of one home site to parcels thousands of acres in size, Ms. Cloninger offers thirty years of legal experience in real estate practice to individuals buying, selling or developing real estate.
At one time holding both a law degree and a state license as an assisted living facility administrator, Evelyn is well acquainted with the needs of the elderly and handles all areas of elder law, including advice regarding Medicare and Medicaid planning, the drafting of revocable and irrevocable trusts, wills, powers of attorney, and related estate planning documents. Having handled the administration of many estates, she enjoys the trust of the community.
Her clients have included winners of the Florida lottery of amounts varying from $55 million dollars to $30,000; current and retired professors from UCF, parents of young children, graduate students, retirees from Palm Valley, Fairways and Lutheran Haven retirement communities, young parents, senior adults experiencing problems with the activities of daily living, local businesses and banks. She also represents clients from other countries, including Canada, U.K., Italy, Jordan, Mexico, South Africa and elsewhere in all areas of law.
Evelyn handles all phases of real estate transactions, from contract to closing, including issuance of title insurance, serving as escrow agent, reviewing or drafting of closing documents, settlement negotiations regarding disputes, and litigation or trial work related to such matters.
Experienced in probate and guardianship law, she writes hundreds of wills and trusts annually, handling estates, guardianship or trust administrations for the families of former clients upon the death or incapacity of those clients. Known for her common sense, forthright style and high ethical standards, many clients seek out Ms. Cloninger because of her practical approach to problems, her reputation for honesty, and her tenacity. She assists clients with estate planning and the administration of estates and handles the opening and administration of guardianships for incapacitated or minor persons. Widowed at age 52, Ms. Cloninger understands the trauma of bereavement and offers thoughtful legal advice to families undergoing the loss of a loved one.
Real estate developments in Seminole and Orange counties that resulted from legal work performed by Evelyn Cloninger include Killaloe by the Lake, Willa Lake, Willa Oaks, Lake Lenelle Woods, Lake Drawdy Reserve and others. She also has current and past relationships with clients developing lands in Volusia, Lake, Osceola and Polk counties, including those engaged in overseas sales to foreign buyers. She has written title insurance and served as escrow agent for many banks and corporate lenders from numerous states.
Areas of Practice
- Real Estate Transactions
- Development, Zoning and Finance
- Loan Closings and Document Review
- Elder Law
- Estate Planning (Wills, Powers of Attorney, Trusts, etc.)
- Probate, Guardianship and Trust Administration
- Contracts (All Types)
- Civil and Business Litigation
- 10% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Florida, 1976
- Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, Florida
- J.D. - 1976
- Honors: American Jurisprudence Awards for Highest Class Grades in 1973-75 in Ethics
- Honors: American Jurisprudence Awards for Highest Class Grades in Real Property
- Honors: American Jurisprudence Awards for Highest Class Grades in Damages
- Honors: American Jurisprudence Awards for Highest Class Grades in Equity
- Honors: American Jurisprudence Awards for Highest Class Grades in Municipal Corporations
- Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida
- B.A. magna cum laude - 1973
- ERA Sun Florida Realty, Inc.
- Nelson & Co./Wheeler Fertilizer
- Sheelah M. Ryan
- The Ryan Foundation, Inc.
- Bank of Central Florida
- Arthur F. Evans, Nelson & Co., Oviedo, Florida
- Jean E. Anders
Honors and Awards
- Outstanding Business Person of the Year-Greater Oviedo Chamber of Commerce, 1984
Professional Associations and Memberships
- The Florida Bar, Elder Law Section, Member
- The Florida Bar, Real Estate and Probate Section, Member
- The Florida Bar, Law Office Management & Administration Section, Member
- National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Member
- Seminole County Bar Association, Member
- Attorneys Title Insurance Fund and Central Florida Real Estate Council
Pro Bono Activities
- Current Member of, with Prior Service on the Board of Directors, Greater Oviedo Chamber of Commerce
- Former Member, Board of Trustees, First Baptist Church of Oviedo, 1984 - 1994
- Former Organist and Sunday School Teacher, First Baptist Church of Oviedo, 1976 - 1987
- Current Member, First United Methodist Church of Oviedo, 2000 - Present
- Former Member of Board of Directors, The Ryan Foundation (a Charitable Foundation Founded by the Late Lottery Winner Sheelah Ryan to Assist Abused Women and Children)