About Us

We’re not attorneys; not doctors; not grief counselors.   We are people who have started and managed businesses, raised families and nurtured friends.  We became caretakers for our aging parents, and then acted as executors of their estates.

In dealing with the incapacity of family members and, later,  their deaths, we discovered laws we didn’t understand or even know about that governed how we managed their financial affairs.

We found it hard to believe that educated people like ourselves did not understand the paperwork or the legal and financial aspects of dying.

We realized that no one teaches someone how to die smart in school.   Or explain why a lack of knowing or doing means someone pays later.

We discovered that dying is not just an emotional event in life, but a major financial one as well.  An event where “dying dumb” can cost 4 to 8% of your net worth and, if long term care is involved, perhaps all of your net worth.

We discovered a lack of quality information and resources to help someone plan for or manage the paperwork and legal procedures associated with incapacity and death.

That’s why we created Die$mart.  A place to visit when you have questions or need help in understanding the rules and laws that manage our life in the case of death or incapacity.  And a place to go to find out what to do before you need help.

Kathy Lane

Ms. Lane has over 30 years in high technology, acting as a founder or key member of the management team in eleven startups.  During her career, Ms. Lane has been a speaker at many computer industry events around the world and a guest on radio and television shows.  She continues to be an angel investor and advisor to startups.  Ms. Lane served as Vice President of Dataquest, a market research firm, providing expertise and advice regarding the personal computer software industry to personal computer software companies, venture capatalists and Wall Street analysts.  Kathy was also the CEO of Softview, the makers of MacInTax.  As CEO, she led the acquisition of Softview to ChipSoft.  At ChipSoft, Ms. Lane service as President, TurboTax Professional Tax Division and was a member of the management team involved in the ChipSoft initial public offering.  She was a co-founder of WorkCard Inc., helping to raise $10 million of venture capital.  WorkCard created electronic collaborative workspaces, connecting Forture 1000 companies with staff companies and temporary workers.  Ms. Lane’s latest business is diesmart.com.  Using her background in information workflow, market research and taxes, diesmart.com provides products and resources to help individuals deal with the last stages of life.  Ms. Lane is the author of a new book “DieSmart”.


Minnie Scott

Ms. Scott has been in the business world for 40 plus years, beginning with McCann Erickson in Los Angeles, where she worked scheduling television, radio and print media.  She later joined Leslie Wallwork, Media Director at McCann Erickson, in a startup of his own company.  From there, she became involved in another start up company, Norton & Associates which became the largest foodservice agency in the country.  During her 17 years there, she served as Vice President and General Manager, handling dozens of foodservice accounts.   Ms. Scott participated in all levels of sales and marketing channels specializing in creative development, promotions and new product launches.  As a leader in the multi-billion dollar foodservice industry, she belonged to and worked with organizations, publications and editors to help create new and innovative approaches to advertising.  Ms. Scott’s latest business venture is her own company, CMS (Custom Marketing Services and Christian Ministry Services).  CMS provides the implementation and management arm for its clients as well as customized tracking software, website development, online stores and customized communication tools for sales and marketing.


Minna Vallentine

Ms. Vallentine has over 30 years experience working in a variety of industries.  During her career, she has worked in the advertising industry with stints at J. Walter Thompson and McCann-Erickson Worldwide.  She worked in both the media and account service departments and was involved in such accounts as Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company, Scott Paper Company, Century 21 and Burger King.  As Vice President and Management Supervisor, she handled the $100 million Coca-Cola Enterprises account.  She was Senior Vice President of Marketing for AdWare Systems (now a part of MediaBank LLC), a company that developed software modules for the advertising industry.  Ms. Vallentine served as Director, IBM Alliance for Ariba where she renegotiated the alliance agreement between the two companies.  For 10 years she was a credentialed teacher in Silicon Valley, teaching workplace literacy, computer skills and English as a Second Language classes.  Summer of 2008, she taught English to 85 high school students near Zhuhai, China.  She currently lives in Boulder, CO where she volunteer teaches English to adults at Intercambio and is a consultant to diesmart.com.  She is a co-author of , “Last Dance and Final Wishes”, “Grave Robbers” and “Access Denied”.   Ms. Vallentine is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Social Science.


DieSmart is a subsidiary of nFormed, LLC and is located in San Mateo, California.