Candidate for Board of Assessment Appeals | 2021
Matt Stillman practices locally in the areas of Estate Planning, Trusts and Estates drafting, and Elder Law. He regularly advises clients on asset protection, Medicaid crisis/non-crisis planning, and Trusts and Estates planning and drafting. Attorney Stillman completes Medicaid applications to the Connecticut Department of Social Services and advises on and/or drafts applications for benefits to the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Matt lectures on a variety of topics including: Medicaid (Title XIX) planning, Trusts and Estates planning, Veterans’ Benefits, and other subjects affecting seniors, Veterans, and disabled individuals. Attorney Stillman is an Adjunct Professor of Elder Law for the University of Hartford, has been a guest lecturer for Western New England Law School, and taught seminars for various Legal Education companies, including NBI and the Connecticut Bar Association.
Matt is the Past President of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (CTNAELA), is an executive committee member of the Elder Law section, has been a member of the Veterans and Military Affairs section(s) and the Elder Law Section(s) of the Connecticut Bar Association. Matt is a professional member of the Planned Lifetime Assistance Network (PLAN) and regularly drafts Special Needs Trusts on behalf of disabled clients.
He received the CTNAELA President’s Award in 2016 and was honored by CTNAELA as the Elder Law Attorney of the Year in 2017. Attorney Stillman was chosen by the New Haven Register as one of the “Best Lawyers in New Haven County” for 2020.
Matt has served in various charitable capacities: as a member of the Board of Directors for: the Middlesex County United Way; as a board member for the Orchard House, an adult day care facility in Branford, CT; and as (past) President of the Clinton (CT) Lions Club.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am an Elder Law/Trusts and Estates/Veterans’ Benefits Attorney who practices locally in Guilford. I have received multiple accolades, including my organization’s “Attorney of the Year” award for diligence and dedication to my clients and to my profession. My family have lived locally in Killingworth for over 24 years.
Why are you running for the position?
I am re-running for the position of Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA) because the panel’s goal is to ensure all get a ‘fair shake’. I initially chose to participate and now to re-run because it is (basically) a non-political means to assist my fellow townspeople. The BAA neither works for the town (and the Assessor) nor the fellow residents. We review the appeals in light of current statutes that determine the correct procedure/process to follow in the appeals process. If corrections are needed, the BAA works to apply them for a fair result. I’ve been very pleased to serve in my elected capacity and wish to do so again.
What do you see as the important issues facing your town and how would you address them in your role?
The issues addressing BAA solely have to do with re-evaluation. My goal in the BAA is to ensure there is a fair and balanced approach for assessments that is evenly applied amongst the entire town. No age group, no religious group, no political party should be advantaged. Town politics have little to do
What are the key things you love about this town and its people?
We have great people; whether they be neighbors or businesses. Even when locals disagree, excepting a few unruly few, we state our opinions civilly and respectfully. It was a great place to live and raise our family.
I love the rural nature of Killingworth but I’d love to see more businesses and services to serve the community. More support and activities for Seniors and further development of safe recreational facilities/campuses for both youth, families, and Seniors are also always welcome. As for infrastructure, I’d love to see advances/improvements in Town Hall as well. I know these wishes contradict many who seek to either: a) prevent Route 81 becoming Route 1 in Orange, and others who b) wish to provide a ‘pennywise/pound foolish’ approach to government but that really just costs us all more in the long run. I believe a healthy balance can be found (for town improvements versus their costs) in the future. These opinions, however, are mine and have little application for the roles of the members of the BAA, as I’ve explained.
Additional thoughts to leave voters with?
I volunteer (yes, this is an unpaid, volunteer position) to support our friends, neighbors, and businesses for fair and even application of the assessment rules across all in our Town. My goal as a BAA member is to ensure equity and fairness across the entire community in the Assessment process.