Be Prepared: The Complete Financial, Legal, and Practical Guide for Living with a Life-Challenging Condition

John Han-Chih Chang, MD
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

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Be Prepared front cover Author: David S. Landay
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, New York, 1998
Price: $29.95 US
ISBN: 0-312-18048-9
Website: www.be-prepared.com/
OncoLink Rating: 3 stars

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Mr. Landay is an attorney who graduated from the Wharton School of Finance and Harvard Law School. He has thirty years' experience dealing with legal and financial issues, and has spent the past seventeen years working with a number of organizations that assist people with life-challenging conditions. This book is thus the culmination of years of research, both by Mr. Landay and numerous other experts who provided their input. More importantly, this book was an inspiration brought about by Mr. Landay's personal experience with his father's ultimate life-challenge. His father had battled lung cancer often placed in positions with nowhere to turn and no one to answer his questions. Mr. Landay has since discovered through his work that people with life-challenging conditions often have financial, legal and practical questions, but do not know where to turn for answers. Determined that no one should ever have to struggle with unanswered questions, the author wrote this very comprehensive book of advice.

This book contains an amazing amount of information, but the table of contents is set up in outline form, making it very easy to reference and find a topic of interest. It is divided into 38 chapters, and the first one summarizes the entire book. The rest of the chapters each begin with either a relevant quote or a case example, just to provide the reader a taste of what topics that chapter addresses. Throughout the book, the author provides worksheets to help the reader organize their personal and financial information. The book also contains a resources section, where the reader can obtain many addresses and phone numbers of helpful organizations. Incredibly helpful advice is given on topics too numerous to list. A few of them are employment and legal protections, health insurance, financial management, retirement plans, choosing physicians, being informed about drugs, wills, funeral arrangements, travel, and much more.

This book provides an unbelievable trove of information and advice, not just to people with life-challenging conditions, but to anyone who is interested in organizing and taking charge of their lives. It is clearly written and easy to understand. Mr. Landay does espouse the importance of consulting with an expert prior to making any decisions, but feels that this book can certainly aid the reader in making informed decisions. As he states: "While it is clear that knowledge truly is power, even with all the available information there is still no single source that provides a comprehensive overview, much less a guide, to living with a life-challenging condition. Be Prepared is my attempt to provide such a source."

Be Prepared is highly recommended by OncoLink.



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