About Let Family Know®
It all started with a fear of flying … no, a fear of crashing, really.
I once read that the #1 one reason people write a will is because they’re going on a long trip. While Let Family Know™ isn’t necessarily about writing a will, traveling without a will in place is the beginning of our story.
I went back to college after a divorce when my two sons were fairly young. My first job after graduating was as a writer for an advertising agency in the small town of Waverly, Iowa. It just so happened the owner had a small twin-engine Cessna airplane she used for longer business trips. I’d never flown before and was a little afraid of crashing. Okay, not a little … a LOT. That was in 1984. Being a recent college graduate, my entry-level salary of $11,800 was enough to afford the necessities but not a lot of extras. I guess I viewed hiring an attorney to prepare a will as an “unaffordable extra”—especially since I didn’t really have any assets to speak of. Back then I didn’t understand all of the reasons for having a will.
All I really worried about then was whether my two sons and parents would know how much I loved them if anything should happen. So, before each business trip, I’d write a few things on a sheet of paper, seal it in an envelope and put it in my desk drawer. Then I’d tell the administrative assistant Mary, who is still my friend today, “If anything should happen, please see that mom and dad get the envelope in my desk drawer, OK?” She’d laugh and assure me nothing was going to happen.
Fast-forward about 24 years … oh where does the time go?
One night while our dog was taking me for a walk, I found myself thinking back on that experience. After I remarried, I had a simple will drawn up. But about 14 years had passed since the ink dried … and that night on my walk, I couldn’t even recall what it said. Furthermore … and I am REALLY embarrassed to admit this … I didn’t even know where it was. Guess I trusted that the lawyer would have a copy if I ever needed it. Turned out not to be true—a town flood destroyed the law office and a lot of documents with it (things weren’t in “the cloud” back then). The attorney never even let me know until I called about it. The topic for a future discussion!
I started thinking about what I could create to organize the information my family would want to know if anything should happen to me. Ideas started coming to me, and when I got home from my walk, I started writing them down. I like to say, “If it’s a good idea, it’s a God idea,” and a true inspiration.
That inspiration was the start of Let Family Know.
That night I began my mission to solve the problem. After spending over 35 years as a marketing writer and researcher, I knew I could figure it out. It was the start of what would become the “Let Family Know® Keeper.” Check it out here.
I found out firsthand that there’s no magic wand for making a business instantly appear. It’s taken several years of research, writing, changing product formats, interviewing people, designing, website development, finding suppliers, and more … while maintaining a full-time job … to finally get it off the ground. Not being a wealthy person, I was on a bootstrap budget and couldn’t hire a lot of help. I spent a lot of nights and weekends sitting on my “behind” working it out. I knew this would be so important to many people, my family included, that I just couldn’t quit. Finally, with a little help from a few friends I met along the way, Let Family Know became a reality.
We’ll be updating the website often with great new information, free downloads, stories that are eye-opening, shocking, scary and funny. Most of all, we hope it will encourage and motivate you to organize your information—and maybe inspire others to do the same.
We hope you find this website, the information we share and the products we design, to be a blessing to you and your family. We look forward to hearing your feedback, thoughts and questions. Maybe we can be a help to each other … and have fun in the process.
Our philosophy is that it doesn’t have to be complicated, you just have to let family know.
About me …
I was born to wonderful parents, raised in the small town of Alden, Iowa, and was the middle child, sandwiched between my sister, Linda, and brother Mike. They helped “shape me” from early on. Translated that means they enjoyed scaring the dickens out of me while growing up. They may look innocent in this picture from 1961, but that was NOT the case. I could tell you stories, but let’s just say that to this day, I’m a bit afraid of the dark.
From my late father, Kenneth Scott, I inherited a sense of humor, an analytical nature and a passion for problem solving – which explains my 35-year career in marketing and lifelong love of inventing. My mother and friend, Lois, (who was killer at braiding hair and creating finger-roll curls) showed me what selfless, motherly love looks like. I can still see her sitting up all night to sew my prom dress – even when her eyelids didn’t want to stay open. She was with me when I sold my first invention – which we celebrated with a late-night piece of pie … isn’t everything better with pie? She is still encouraging me today.
My life is richly blessed with a very patient and humorous husband, Alan; wonderful kids Brandon Steen and wife Jennifer, Tyler Steen and wife Tarrah, and five awesome grandkids … don’t even get me started.
Finally, I’m looking forward to making many new friends through Let Family Know. Thank you for dropping in. I hope you come back often.