The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 52 - October 10, 2012


10 years is electrifying for Miller

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

louise bolger | sun
Sue and Ed Gocher, of Miller Electric,
take pride in their quality of service.

It’s pretty clear when you meet Ed Gocher that he loves his life. But what’s not to love when you have a thriving business, a great family, a loyal dog and plenty of fish in the Gulf of Mexico between here and Key West.

This month Ed and Sue Gocher are starting their tenth year as owners of Miller Electric. During that time they have expanded their business four times and are now doing over a million dollars annually in business. All of this in spite of the challenges they faced in the wake of a bad economy. They currently employ 17 people, 10 of which are electricians and own a fleet of 12 trucks.

Ed Gocher attributes the company’s success to the quality of service provided and his staff that is unfailingly courteous and professional both on the phone and in person. He says they are the face of the company and an important part of his Miller Electric family.

Anna Maria Island Sun readers apparently agree since they voted Miller Electric #1 Electrician in the 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards. The family also includes their son Tyler, who will be joining the family business when he completes his schooling and apprenticeship, followed shortly by younger son Adam.

Miller Electric is state certified as a full service repair, renovation and new construction electric company servicing all of Bradenton, Sarasota, Longboat Key, Siesta Key and Anna Maria Island. Anna Maria Island constitutes 80 percent of Miller’s business handling many of the remodels on the Island including the Sandbar restaurant renovation.

Although employees handle all types of electrical repairs and hookups, they specialize in boat lifts and boat lift remotes, dock lighting including deep glow underwater lighting, snook lights and pool lights. They also install and give complimentary advice on friendly sea turtle lighting for beach front properties on the islands during turtle season. They are committed to recycling scrap wire and cooper with the proceeds going back to their staff.

New this year to Miller Electric is its Low Voltage Division, which installs, repairs, inspects and monitors fire alarms, security systems, camera surveillance and access control with 24 hour monitoring.

The Gochers believe in giving back to the community that has been so supportive of their business. Miller Electric does complimentary wiring for Anna Maria Island’s annual Bayfest Festival, the Chamber Christmas tree in Holmes Beach, Wedding Fest, Founders Day, Food & Wine on Pine and the Bridge Street Christmas Festival.

In addition, Ed Gocher is the chairman of the advisory board for the Manatee Technical Institute and has coached his sons’ sporting activities for many years.

Whenever they can, the Gocher’s escape to their home on Summerland Key to relax and chase the fish. Check out some great fishing photos on their website. Ed Gocher’s a happy man whose goal is to make his customers happy. Need a professional electric company, call Miller Electric; need some serious fishing advice, call Ed Gocher. Either way, you’ll be electrified.

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Using professional trustees in estate planning

Investment Corner

I get a lot of good ideas for topics for these articles from conversations with friends and clients. Thanks to my friend Bill for initiating a conversation recently on the use of administrative trustees for supervision of money held in trust either, while the donor to the trust is still alive, or after his/her death.

Administrative trustees, also known as corporate trustees, can fulfill several key functions in the estate planning process and the transfer of wealth to heirs. For purposes of reducing estate taxes or to ensure that wealth left to children and grandchildren is not mismanaged, many seniors fortunate enough to have accumulated substantial assets place their wealth in one or more trusts of different types. These trusts can range from a simple revocable living trust, the most common type, to more complex irrevocable trusts or life insurance trusts.

While most individuals act as their own trustee on revocable trusts, trusts of the irrevocable variety generally require the appointment of an independent trustee. For revocable trusts, administrative trustees are sometimes named as successor trustees because the original trustee will eventually not be able to serve due to death or incapacity.

Administrative trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to carry out the terms of the trust as defined by the grantor when the trust is funded. This includes managing or supervising the management of the assets in the trust, processing income distributions to trust beneficiaries when applicable and also filing appropriate tax returns for the trust.

The advantage of using an administrative trustee is that it is a firm which makes these activities its business and the firm can endure while the individuals who work at the firm come and go through retirement, career changes, and their own issues of mortality. For those with sufficient assets who wish to continue to control the use of their wealth after their own demise, the use of administrative or corporate trustees is the most effective way to do so.

The disadvantage of using an administrative trustee is that there is an ongoing cost for the service. These costs can be as little as 0.2 or 0.3 percent on larger trusts, but can also range to north of 1 percent. Keep in mind this may only include the fee for the on-going supervision of the trust itself, but not the management of the assets by a qualified investment professional. Those fees typically range from 0.5 percent to well over 1 percent, depending on the firm and the services being provided.

I believe there is one important distinction that the person funding a trust and appointing an administrative trustees, either immediately or as a successor trustee, should keep in mind. If the administrative trustee also is in the business of managing assets, there is a potential conflict of interest. In other words, a trustee is unlikely to fire his/herself as the asset manager if he/she is collecting fees for both roles – trustee and asset manager.

There have been cases of grantors of trust hiring their local bank to act as trustee and portfolio manager, and decades after their death the heirs learn that the investment results were very poor, but they were not in a position to make a change without going to great lengths to sue the trustee. I believe things have gotten a bit better in the last decade or so, and there are many fine firms which, as trust companies, fulfill both roles very well.

Still, the person about to establish and fund trusts may want to consider keeping the trustee and monitoring role separate from the investment management to facilitate future flexibility if investment performance is not up to par.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing. Visit


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