Areas of Practice
The Law Office of Cynthia L. Alleman (Cooke) focuses on the following areas of law: Guardianships, Powers of Attorney, Probate/Estate Administration, Special Needs Trusts, Trusts/Estate Planning and Wills.
Guardianship is a court procedure through which a person or organization is given the responsibility to care for and make decisions for another individual over the age of 18 who is not competent to handle his/her own affairs.
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows someone to act in another’s place by making decisions for them. The person signing the power of attorney document must be competent and able to make informed decisions. A power of attorney only lasts until it is revoked or the principal dies. It is not a substitute for a will.
Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person by resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under the valid will or under the North Carolina Laws of Intestacy if someone dies without a will.
A special needs trust is created to ensure that recipients who are disabled or mentally ill can maintain their quality of life, enjoy the use of possessions which are intended to be kept for their benefit and not be disqualified from public or private benefits. In addition to personal planning reasons for such a trust (the person may lack the mental capacity to handle their financial affairs) there may be fiscal advantages to the use of a trust.
A trust is a relationship whereby property (real or personal, tangible or intangible) is held by one party for the benefit of another. Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate. Estate planning explains which of your assets will be handled outside of your Will and what property is controlled by your Will. It typically simplifies the process for your family and saves you money.
A will is a written direction controlling the distribution of your property upon your death. A will allows you to decide who will receive your property and what share they will receive. A Will also allows for you to decide who will care for your children and your pets after you have passed away.